Myanmar’s military ruler declares himself prime minister, vows to hold elections by 2023


In a speech on Sunday, Min Aung Hling reiterated his pledge to hold elections by 2023 and said his administration was ready to work with a future regional envoy on Myanmar.

The announcement and speech came exactly six months after the military Electricity seized on February 1 from a civilian government after elections won by Aung San Suu Kyi The ruling party but the military said there was fraud.

Min Aung Hling chairs the State Administration Council (SAC) that was formed just after the coup and has been running Myanmar since, and will be replaced by the caretaker government.

“In order to perform the duties of the country expeditiously, conveniently and effectively, the State Administration Council has been reconstituted as the caretaker government of Myanmar,” a newsreader on the state’s Mywadi television said.

In his speech, Min Aung Hlaing reiterated his pledge to restore democracy, saying “we will meet the provisions of the state of emergency by August 2023”.

He said: “I guarantee the establishment of a union based on democracy and federalism.”

Soon after the coup, junta leaders promised new elections within two years. The reference to Sunday to August 2023 was interpreted by some local media as an extension of that deadline by six months.

Min Aung Huling also said that his administration would work with any special envoys designated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN foreign ministers are due to meet on Monday, when diplomats say they aim to finalize a special envoy, tasked with ending the violence and promoting dialogue between the junta and its adversaries.
The military seized power after Suu Kyi’s ruling party won the election that military arguments were tainted by fraud. It has said that its acquisition was in accordance with the Constitution. The country’s election commission has dismissed the allegations of fraud.

After the coup, 75-year-old Suu Kyi was charged with several crimes. His trial on charges of illegally possessing a walkie-talkie radio and breaking coronavirus protocols is set to resume on Monday.

months of protest

Military officials have faced months of protests, strikes that have paralyzed the public and private sectors, and a resurgence of armed conflicts in border areas.

The government has labeled his opponents as terrorists.

“At present, the whole country is stable except for a few terrorist attacks,” Min Aung Hling said in his speech.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners’ activist group has accused the armed forces of killing 939 people to suppress dissent since the coup and says at least 6,990 military opponents have been arrested.

The army said the number of protesters killed was small and that members of the armed forces were also killed in the violence. It said its response met international standards in the face of threats to national security.

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