Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing on Sunday has declared himself prime minister and extended the state of emergency, however pledging to hold democratic elections within two years.
“We must create conditions to hold a free and fair multiparty general election,” said Hlaing during an hour-long recorded televised address.
The military junta had snatched power from the country’s civilian government nearly six months ago and the prevailing state of emergency would last until August 2023, extending the rule of the military by nearly 18 months.
The military voided the results of a 2020 vote that dealt a landslide victory to the party of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of her government which has been detained since the Feb. 1 coup.
The military claimed the 2020 vote was flawed by widespread fraud, a claim disputed by independent election observers.
The military takeover was met with massive public protests that has continued almost daily in the six months since.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent non-profit organization, reported that as of Sunday, 939 people have been killed by the authorities who routinely fire live ammunition into crowds and more than 5,400 others have been detained since Feb. 1.
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