News Analysis

Coup talk in Myanmar masks complex power play

Army soldiers clear the traffic as an armoured personnel vehicle moves on a road in Yangon, Myanmar, on Jan 28, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
Military supporters holding Myanmar national flags marching during a protest against Union Election Commission, near Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, on Jan 29, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Police stand guard along a road in Naypyidaw on Jan 29, 2021, ahead of the reopening of the Parliament on Feb 1. PHOTO: AFP
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BANGKOK - Myanmar's newly elected legislators convene on Monday (Feb 1) under growing pressure from a military adamant about pursuing its claims of electoral fraud. While few are expecting an outright coup, escalating military rhetoric, reports of armoured vehicles on city streets and heavy police presence in the capital have put the country on edge.

The Supreme Court on Friday postponed considering allegations of electoral misconduct by President Win Myint and election commission chairman Hla Thein that were filed by a military linked political party. The court's decision was the latest setback for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which once ruled Myanmar under a democratic transition designed by the former junta, but has since been sidelined by the National League for Democracy party, which swept the Nov 8 general election.

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