The end of Myanmar’s semi-democratic experiment? Not yet. Making sense of 1st February
Stefano Ruzza

Myanmar’s military – the Tatmadaw – forcefully returned to government on 1 February, ten years after formally relinquishing power. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and many other politically prominent figures were arrested under a variety of pretexts, just as the new Parliament resulting from November’s elections was about to convene. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Tatmadaw, became the highest formal authority, appointing himself as head of government. To justify the takeover, the Tatmadaw alleged malfeasance in the November 2020 general elections (won in a landslide by the National League for Democracy – NLD), despite the elections having been verified as free and fair by independent observers.

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