Felicity Salina, International Law Officer
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s elected democratic leader, was arrested during an early morning raid on Monday, 1 February. Other senior officials and political figures from Ms Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were also captured alongside the de facto head of state.
Responsible for the act is Myanmar’s military, who alleges that Ms Suu Kyi’s landslide victory in the late 2020 election was fraudulent. The NLD won 83 per cent of parliamentary seats, while the army-associated Union Solidarity and Development Party won a mere 33 seats. The military claims that it has evidence showing widespread irregularities among the votes.
While the whereabouts of Ms Suu Kyi and members of her party are unknown, the military said that all those arrested would remain detained for a year. Commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has also seized control of the country and declared a national emergency for a full year.
There is no legal basis under Myanmar’s constitution, drafted by the military, for the coup. Last week, however, the Senior General said the constitution should be “revoked” if the laws are not followed. In response, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States all warned the military against staging a coup.
The events of Monday are met with denunciation by Malaysia and Indonesia, while Singapore’s Foreign Ministry urged all parties to exercise restrained and endeavor to reach a peaceful resolution.
Read more about Myanmar’s military coup here: