It is a military coup in Myanmar, but it differs from previous military coups, as it is not a coup against a pure civilian authority, but rather a coup against partners in power.
The military in Myanmar did not leave the state’s joints and centers of power entirely after the 2015 elections, and before that when they drafted the 2008 constitution, which preserved exceptional powers and powers for them, but they made room for the National League for Democracy party led by Aung San Sochi to participate in the government and to be the civil front and channel Communicating with the outside world, to achieve their pre-political economic goals, and to absorb the demands of democratic transformation among the general population of Myanmar.
Today and in the early hours of Monday morning, hours before the new parliament convenes in its two chambers for the first time since the last elections on November 8, telephone and internet communications were cut off in some areas such as the administrative capital of Naypidu and the economic Yangon, and a day after the suspension of foreign flights And for a whole month, between Myanmar and the countries of the world, the coup happened.
The army moved to re-seize the powers, influence and political benefits left to its ruling partner, the “National League for Democracy”, and the most prominent title would be the arrest of Aung San Sochi, the state advisor and the foreign minister who defended the military in the International Court of Justice in the famous Rohingya case, but this did not help To her when the generals.
Dozens of figures from the Sochi party, which won the last and before elections, were also arrested. Some of those arrested held local executive positions as prime ministers of states and provinces or ministers in local governments, and others were parliamentarians, and even arrested a doctor and lawyer of Aung Sochi.
Emergency year and re-election
The army is moving to announce the handover of power to the Army Chief of Staff, General Min Aung Liang, who was a candidate for the presidency if the current parliament convenes today and continues until next March.
The army announced that it had uncovered fraud in the elections, and that there were millions of votes in it in the recent elections, despite the absence of clear evidence and no reports that this had occurred in a major way, and the army had promised that it would reorganize the elections again, without specifying a date for that.
Many questions are asked about what the military wants to do besides declaring emergency for a full year, as he is seeking to hold elections again because the military establishment does not recognize the results of the recent elections in which the League party won 258 of the 330 seats in Parliament, in exchange for the close Union for Solidarity and Development Party. From the military for only 26 seats.
Whereas, parties representing different nationalities won 31 seats, and in the Nationalities or Senate Assembly, the Sochi League won 138 seats out of a total of 168 seats, while the party close to the military got only 7 seats, and the nationalities ’parties won only 16 seats.
The poor performance of the Solidarity Party, which is described as a front for the military and the generals, angered them and their rejection of the election results, a decline in performance since the elections in 2010 and then 2012 and 2015, and the performance was very poor in the November 2020 elections.
What happens after the condemnation and rejection of the international community?
Regionally in Southeast Asia, as well as in the Islamic world, Europe and the United States, the coup, as expected, was met with a wave of widespread denunciation and condemnation in a converging language. The coup was expected by those familiar with the developments of events following the elections last November, since the Solidarity Party began to question the results that The League showed a lead with 83% of the seats, then statements emerged from the army that alarmed Western diplomatic missions.
In light of the disagreement that appeared in the US elections, the circumstances of the Corona pandemic, and the difficulty of traveling between Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, like other countries in the world, and even stopping flights to Myanmar throughout this month, and in light of the continuous rise of China’s influence, it was expected that the military would move in the direction of A military coup after they felt that the League would seek to expand its expansion and presence in the joints of the state and important positions.
Here, many people ask questions about what steps the US administration will take to confront the first emergency challenge it faces in Southeast Asia, after years of declining interest in the region during the era of the previous Donald Trump administration, and what will its allies in the region who have not adopted the policy of pressure and blockade on Myanmar for so long Decades ago.
A long history of coups and military rule
This coup brings back to mind a military rule that lasted about 6 decades, specifically since 1962, and among them was what could be described as the coup d’état of the country’s governing council, led by the military, against the 1990 elections, which saw the Aung San Suu Kyi party win 58.7% of the vote after only two years. Upon its founding, something surprised the military, so the results of the polls were aborted weeks later, after which a long march began for Aung San Sochi with the military who kept her under house arrest for 15 years, i.e. until 2011.
Today, the military is repeating the scene with a military coup against the same political leader, even though she is today the army’s partner in government, and turning against the party that has partnered in power since 2015, which was not a complete democratic transformation but rather an economic openness rather than a political one and in regions without others, with a margin. A narrowing of partial freedoms, and not for everyone.
Change and minorities falter
Setbacks began in the course of what was hoped to be a democratic transition since the beginning of 2017, which witnessed the assassination of the famous lawyer and the only Muslim among the leaders of the League party “O Koo Ni” on such days 4 years ago, upon his return from a political dialogue program in Indonesia with other leaders From his country, and after months, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were deported to Bangladesh, and this was repeated during 2018.
As for minorities in general, along with the Rohingya, and despite Aung San Suu Kyi’s endeavor to achieve a national dialogue for reconciliation with the various nationalities, some of which fight the government through armies and armed movements, including Christianity and Buddhism, these dialogues have calmed the tense scene in some states but not others.
Moreover, this has not been significantly affected by the conditions of those nationalities and minorities in all regions, especially the Shan, Kachin, Chin, Kaya, Karen and others, not to mention the Rohingya and other Muslim nationalities scattered in most states of the country, which have not been invited to any dialogue during the past five years or before.
And before that, the persecution of the Rohingya, which continued and repeated during the period of Aung San Sochi’s partnership with the military, as it was during the past 5 decades through displacement campaigns and military repression from one decade to the next until the state of Arakan emptied of most of its residents today, and it is estimated that the remaining Rohingya in the state Located to the west of Myanmar, with 600 or 700,000 Rohingya, which is an inaccurate estimate of the lack of documentation of their identities.
Despite all this, groups of the Myanmar people, in the past five years, saw something of change and economic openness that was an outlet for them, in some aspects of life, even for some Muslims but not others, in a number of states, especially between 2015 and 2017.
But with this coup, fear and anticipation returns. It is difficult to anticipate what will happen in the coming weeks and months of a military rule that showed what was hidden from its presence and influence, as well as its powers and power that was experienced behind an elected civilian façade.