The head of Myanmar’s junta, Min Aung Hlaing, will extend the state of emergency in the country for a further six months, state media says, reporting that the junta’s national defence and security council had given its approval.
The junta first declared a state of emergency after seizing power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February last year.
“The members [of the security council] unanimously supported the proposal to extend the period of the declared state of emergency for another six months,” the Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Monday.
“In our country, we must continue to strengthen the ‘genuine and disciplined multi-party democratic system’, which is the desire of the people,” the paper cited Min Aung Hlaing as saying.
Myanmar has been in chaos since the coup, with conflict spreading across the South-East Asian country after the army crushed mostly peaceful protests in cities.
The junta said it had taken power because of voting fraud in a November 2020 general election that was easily won by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s party. Election monitoring groups found no evidence of mass fraud.
The military has pledged to hold elections in August 2023 though the timetable has already slipped and opponents do not believe the planned elections will be free and fair.