Myanmar military extends emergency, promises vote in 2 years

Jul 31, 2021, 2:13 PM | Updated: Aug 1, 2021, 7:18 am
FILE - In this June 23, 2021, file photo, Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Senior Gene...

FILE - In this June 23, 2021, file photo, Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers his speech at the IX Moscow conference on international security in Moscow, Russia. Six months after seizing power from the elected government, Myanmar’s military leader on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, repeated his pledge to hold fresh elections in two years and cooperate with Southeast Asian nations on finding a political solution for his country. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

BANGKOK (AP) — Six months after seizing power from the elected government, Myanmar’s military leader on Sunday declared himself prime minister and said he would lead the country under the extended state of emergency until elections are held in about two years.

“We must create conditions to hold a free and fair multiparty general election,” Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said during a recorded televised address. “We have to make preparations. I pledge to hold the multiparty general election without fail.”

He said the state of emergency will achieve its objectives by August 2023. In a separate announcement, the military government named itself “the caretaker government” and Min Aung Hlaing the prime minister.

The state of emergency was declared when troops moved against the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, an action the generals said was permitted under the military-authored 2008 constitution. The military claimed her landslide victory in last year’s national elections was achieved through massive voter fraud but offered no credible evidence.

The military government officially annulled the election results last Tuesday and appointed a new election commission to take charge of the polls.

The military takeover was met with massive public protests that has resulted in a lethal crackdown by security forces who routinely fire live ammunition into crowds.

As of Sunday, 939 people have been killed by the authorities since Feb. 1, according to a tally kept by the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Casualties are also rising among the military and police as armed resistance grows in both urban and rural areas.

Moves by The Association of Southeast Asian Nations to broker a dialogue between the military government and its opponents have stalled after an agreement at an April summit in Jakarta to appoint a special envoy for Myanmar.

Min Aung Hlaing said that among the three nominees, Thailand’s former Deputy Foreign Minister Virasakdi Futrakul was selected as the envoy. “But for various reasons, new proposals were released and we could not keep moving onwards. I would like to say that Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework, including the dialogue with the ASEAN special envoy in Myanmar,” he said.

ASEAN foreign ministers were expected to discuss Myanmar in virtual meetings this week hosted by Brunei, the current chair of the 10-nation bloc.

Myanmar is also struggling with its worst COVID-19 outbreak that has overwhelmed its already crippled health care system. Limitations on oxygen sales have led to widespread allegations that the military is directing supplies to government supporters and military-run hospitals.

At the same time, medical workers have been targeted by authorities after spearheading a civil disobedience movement that urged professionals and civil servants not to cooperate with the government.

Min Aung Hlaing blamed the public’s mistrust in the military’s efforts to control the outbreak on “fake news and misinformation via social networks,” and accused those behind it of using COVID-19 “as a tool of bioterrorism.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

WOODSON TERRACE, Mo. (AP) — The FBI has opened an investigation into the arrest of a Black ma...
Associated Press

FBI investigating Missouri cops who let dog bite Black man

WOODSON TERRACE, Mo. (AP) — The FBI has opened an investigation into the arrest of a Black man in Missouri during which cellphone video shows three white officers allowing a police dog to repeatedly bite him. Woodson Terrace police Chief Randy Halstead said in an email to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his department was […]
1 day ago
This mage released by Universal Pictures shows Ben Platt in a scene from "Dear Evan Hansen." (Erika...
Associated Press

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show is off to a slow start at the box office in its first weekend in theaters. The Universal musical that’s playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated $7.5 million from 3,364 locations, according to studio estimates on […]
1 day ago
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Legislature will consider whether to try to impeach Atto...
Associated Press

South Dakota lawmakers to weigh whether seek AG impeachment

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Legislature will consider whether to try to impeach Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for a car crash last year that killed a pedestrian, a House leader said. Republican Speaker Spencer Gosch said Saturday that there is enough support in the state House to discuss impeachment. The state Senate had […]
1 day ago
People light candles along Blue Point Ave. in Blue Point, NY in memory of Gabby Petito, Friday, Sep...
Associated Press

Gabby Petito funeral home viewing expected to draw crowds

HOLBROOK, N.Y. (AP) — Crowds are expected on Long Island on Sunday as the family of Gabby Petito holds a funeral home viewing for their daughter, whose death on a cross-country trip has sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend. Petito was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she didn’t respond to calls and […]
1 day ago
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army colonel regarded as the archi...
Associated Press

Theoneste Bagosora, architect of Rwanda genocide, dies at 80

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Theoneste Bagosora, a former Rwandan army colonel regarded as the architect of the 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and Hutus who tried to protect them were killed, died in a hospital in Mali on Saturday. His son Achille Bagosora announced the death in a Facebook post: “Rest […]
1 day ago
Mensah Montant, center, and his wife Virginia Salazar visit with a Haitian migrant at an apartment ...
Associated Press

In Mexico, some Haitians find a helping hand

CIUDAD ACUÑA, México (AP) — Some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who briefly formed a camp in the Texas border town of Del Rio have found a helping hand across the river in Mexico’s Ciudad Acuña. While U.S. officials announced the camp on the U.S. side had been cleared, an undetermined number of migrants […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Myanmar military extends emergency, promises vote in 2 years