Myanmar army chief says military takeover was 'inevitable' and blames his power grab on Aung San Suu Kyi's 'fraudulent' election win

 Myanmar's top general who seized control of the government in a coup says it was 'inevitable' the military would step in after elections that returned Aung San Suu Kyi to power.

General Min Aung Hliang, speaking at the first meeting of the new military junta today, said he had been driven to take power due to 'fraud' at last year's vote - a claim that the country's election regulator has dismissed.

'Despite the [military's] repeated requests, this path was chosen inevitably for the country. Until the next government is formed after the upcoming election, we need to steer the country,' Hliang said on Tuesday.

He added: 'During the state of emergency, the election and fighting COVID-19 are set priorities.'

Hliang spoke as the military consolidated its grip on power, putting armoured vehicles and troops on the streets of the capital Naypyidaw where it is thought defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is being held under house arrest.  

Generals assumed full control of the country despite threats from world leaders - led by President Joe Biden - who threatened to impose sanctions and take 'appropriate action'.

While most countries and international organisations spoke out to condemn the coup, China pointedly dismissed it - with state media calling it a 'cabinet reshuffle'.

Myanmar's military was in full control today as armoured vehicles patrolled the streets of the capital Naypyidaw (pictured), where roadblocks were also being enforced

Myanmar's military was in full control today as armoured vehicles patrolled the streets of the capital Naypyidaw (pictured), where roadblocks were also being enforced

General Min Aung Hliang (left), speaking at the first meeting of the new military junta today, said it was 'inevitable' the army would step in after 'fraud' at the last election - claims which the country's election monitor has dismissed

General Min Aung Hliang (left), speaking at the first meeting of the new military junta today, said it was 'inevitable' the army would step in after 'fraud' at the last election - claims which the country's election monitor has dismissed

A soldier stands guard at a gate near the Presidential Palace in Naypyidaw, where it is thought president Win Myint is being held under house arrest

A soldier stands guard at a gate near the Presidential Palace in Naypyidaw, where it is thought president Win Myint is being held under house arrest

It also emerged that politicians not rounded up at their houses on Monday are being held at a parliamentary dormitory in Naypyidaw, which has been placed under armed guard (pictured)

It also emerged that politicians not rounded up at their houses on Monday are being held at a parliamentary dormitory in Naypyidaw, which has been placed under armed guard (pictured)

Soldiers keep watch along a blockaded road near Myanmar's Parliament in Naypyidaw as the military consolidates control

Soldiers keep watch along a blockaded road near Myanmar's Parliament in Naypyidaw as the military consolidates control

A car is seen leaving the Yangon home of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is believed to be inside and being held under house arrest

A car is seen leaving the Yangon home of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is believed to be inside and being held under house arrest

Ms Suu Kyi (right) was forced from power on Monday in a coup, with all of her powers transferred to the country's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (left)

Ms Suu Kyi (right) was forced from power on Monday in a coup, with all of her powers transferred to the country's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (left)


In a sign of how complete the coup was, it emerged today that politicians not rounded up at their homes on Monday are being held inside a parliamentary dormitory in Naypyidaw, which has been placed under guard.  

One MP for Suu Kyi's NLD party described the compound as 'an open-air detention centre'.

'We are not allowed to go outside,' she told AFP by telephone, requesting anonymity for fear of the military. 'We are very worried.'

Suu Kyi and President Win Myint remained under house arrest, the lawmaker told AFP, although it was not immediately clear where they were being held.

'We were told not to worry. However we are worrying. It would be a relief if we could see photos of them at home,' she said.

Despite the intimidation, a statement was posted on the NLD's verified Facebook page calling for the release of Suu Kyi and all detained party members.

'We see this as a stain on the history of the State and the Tatmadaw,' it added, referring to the military by its Burmese name.

It also demanded the military 'recognise the confirmed result of the 2020 general election'.

The military justified its seizure of power by alleging widespread fraud in elections held three months ago that the NLD won in a landslide.

The military announced on Monday that it would hold power under a state of emergency for 12 months, claiming it would then hold fresh elections.

Biden led the chorus of global outrage, calling for a quick restoration of democracy and warning that Washington could reimpose sanctions.

'The international community should come together in one voice to press the Burmese military to immediately relinquish the power they have seized,' Biden said.

The President pointedly chose to refer to Myanmar by its former name - Burma - which the US has never officially recognised because it was changed by the military in 1989 in an undemocratic process.

In recent years, US diplomats have referred to the country as Myanmar as a 'courtesy' due to democratic reforms - signalling the time for courtesy is over.

'The United States is taking note of those who stand with the people of Burma in this difficult hour,' Biden added.


Soldiers keep watch along a blockaded road near Myanmar's Parliament in Naypyidaw on Tuesday

Soldiers keep watch along a blockaded road near Myanmar's Parliament in Naypyidaw on Tuesday

Soldiers stand guard along a blockaded road near Myanmar's Parliament in Naypyidaw

Soldiers stand guard along a blockaded road near Myanmar's Parliament in Naypyidaw

Soldiers keep watch at a checkpoint at the royal palace in Mandalay as Myanmar's generals appeared in firm control

Soldiers keep watch at a checkpoint at the royal palace in Mandalay as Myanmar's generals appeared in firm control

Police vehicles are parked on Sule Pagoda Road in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, on Tuesday

Police vehicles are parked on Sule Pagoda Road in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, on Tuesday

Vehicles filled with riot police officers are parked along a street in Yangon, the country's largest city, on Tuesday

Vehicles filled with riot police officers are parked along a street in Yangon, the country's largest city, on Tuesday

Myanmar's military checkpoint is seen on the way to the congress compound in Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Myanmar's military checkpoint is seen on the way to the congress compound in Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Myanmar's soldiers stand guard at a roadblock manned with an armored vehicle on a road leading to parliament

Myanmar's soldiers stand guard at a roadblock manned with an armored vehicle on a road leading to parliament

'I didn't get out of my truck': Scared truck driver on Myanmar coup
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the European Union and Australia were among others to condemn the coup. Britain summoned Myanmar's envoy in formal protest.

But China declined to criticise anyone, instead calling for all sides to 'resolve differences'. 

China's official Xinhua news agency' described the coup as a 'cabinet reshuffle'.

The United Nations Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on the situation for Tuesday.

Myanmar's November polls were only the second democratic elections the country had seen since it emerged from the 49-year grip of military rule in 2011.

The NLD won more than 80 percent of the vote in November - increasing its support from the 2015 elections.

But the military claimed to have uncovered more than 10 million instances of voter fraud.

Although the military had flagged last week it was considering a coup, Monday's events seemed to stun the country and power was seized extremely quickly.

The military severely disrupted the internet as the coup was unfolding, but then eased restrictions later in the day.

On Tuesday there were few signs of extra security in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city and commercial capital, indicating the generals' comfort levels that, for now, they faced no mass protests.

'We want to go out to show our dissatisfaction,' a taxi driver told AFP early Tuesday morning.

'But Mother Suu is in their hands. We cannot do much but stay quiet at this moment.'

Myanmar army chief says military takeover was 'inevitable' and blames his power grab on Aung San Suu Kyi's 'fraudulent' election win Myanmar army chief says military takeover was 'inevitable' and blames his power grab on Aung San Suu Kyi's 'fraudulent' election win Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:25 Rating: 5

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