Australia And U.S. Warn Myanmar Military Not To Stage A Coup After Free Election

Australia has joined several Western nations in warning Myanmar’s military against staging a coup in the aftermath of an election the army said was fraudulent, reported Australian ABC news.

Escalating tensions between the civilian government and the powerful military sparked fears of an overthrow as Myanmar members of parliament are set to take up their seats on Monday.

A joint statement from diplomatic missions in Myanmar was issued warning the military against any regime change.

It was backed by several countries including Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

“We urge the military, and all other parties in the country, to adhere to democratic norms and we oppose any attempt to alter the outcome of the elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition,” the statement said.

In a statement, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres called on “all actors to desist from any form of incitement or provocation, demonstrate leadership, and to adhere to democratic norms and respecting the outcome of the November 8 general election.”

“All electoral disputes should be resolved through established legal mechanisms,” he added.

The army said it plans to “take action” if its complaints about the election are not addressed and a spokesman this week declined to rule out the possibility of a coup.

Civilian government and military confrontations

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won a resounding victory in the November 8 poll, only the second free and fair general election since the end of direct army rule in 2011.

But allegations by the army of widespread voter fraud, which the electoral commission denies, have led to the most direct confrontation yet between the civilian Government and the military, who share power in an awkward constitutional arrangement.

The charter reserves 25 per cent of seats in Parliament for the military, which demanded a resolution to its complaints before Monday and refused to be drawn on whether its lawmakers will show up.

Adding to the uncertainty, the commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, mentioned during a widely publicised video address to military personnel on Wednesday local time that a constitution should be repealed if it was not abided by.

He cited previous instances when charters had been abolished in Myanmar.

Ms Suu Kyi has not made any public comment on the dispute but a spokesman for her NLD said members had met military leaders for talks but noted they were “not successful”.

He also said police battalions were stationed in the capital, Naypyitaw, after reports that protesters might gather there but said in the event of a coup the NLD would not respond with force.

NLD political member Zin Mar Aung said police were patrolling the parliament compound and there was a need for caution.

“We cannot pretend as if nothing is happening,” Mr Zin Mar Aung said by telephone.

A military spokesman did not answer phone calls seeking comment about the report of military coup in Myanmar.

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