Who's who in the Myanmar coup

A lightning coup on Monday (Feb 1) returned Myanmar to military rule, halting the country's brief 10-year experiment in democracy. Myanmar's de facto leader Aung Saan Suu Kyi and president Win Myint were detained dawn raids by the military. Here's a look at who's who.

(Clockwise from top left) Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint,  Min Aung Hlaing, Myint Swe.
(Clockwise from top left) Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint, Min Aung Hlaing, Myint Swe.PHOTOS: AFP, EPA-EFE

Aung San Suu Kyi, 75

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner spent nearly 15 years under house arrest after organising rallies calling for democratic reform to then military-ruled Myanmar.

She was released in 2010, and in 2015, led the National League for Democracy (NLD) to victory in Myanmar's first openly contested election in 25 years.

But the Constitution forbade her from becoming president because her children are foreign nationals, and she was appointed state counsellor.

Her image suffered internationally when she refused to denounce a violent military-led crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in 2017, but she remains popular with the Buddhist majority.

In last year's polls, her NLD once again won, but the win was disputed by the military, which claimed there was election fraud.

Last Monday, when the new Parliament was to sit for the first time, the military arrested Ms Suu Kyi and other political leaders.

Win Myint, 69


Win Myint was arrested during last Monday's coup in Myanmar. PHOTO: REUTERS

The long-time NLD member became president in March 2018. His role as president was largely ceremonial, with Ms Suu Kyi viewed as the country's de facto leader.

He was a lawyer before he entered politics. In 1988, he was jailed by the junta for his role in the ultimately unsuccessful uprising in Yangon, where protesters demanded an end to military rule.

He was arrested during last Monday's coup.

Min Aung Hlaing, 64


Tensions between General Min Aung Hlaing and Ms Aung San Suu Kyi rose again after last year's election. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Army chief, General Min Aung Hlaing, is now in charge after initiating the coup. He became commander-in-chief in 2011.

After the junta was dissolved in 2011, he served in the first quasi-civilian government and was in line to be president. But the plan was thwarted by the 2015 election victory for the NLD.

He faced international sanctions because of the military's treatment of the Rohingya Muslims.

Tensions between him and Ms Suu Kyi rose again after last year's election, where the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party lost badly.

Myint Swe, 69


Myint Swe is a former chief minister of Myanmar. PHOTO: AFP

The former general served as vice-president for the past five years.

He became the army-appointed acting president during the coup and handed power to General Min Aung Hlaing.

He is a close ally of former junta leader Than Shwe, and is a former chief minister.