Burmese army ruler promises elections, ASEAN cooperation Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: The commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Min Aung Leda, will speak at the 9th Moscow International Security Conference in Moscow, Russia, on June 23, 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS

BANGKOK (Reuters)-Myanmar’s military ruler Min Aung Lai promised again on Sunday to hold new multi-party elections and said his government is ready to cooperate with any special envoys appointed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Six months after the military seized power from the civilian government after Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party won the controversial election, he made a speech in a televised speech in which he called the party an “extremist” and was arrested. Allegations of incitement to violence.

“Myanmar is ready to carry out ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework, including dialogue with the ASEAN Myanmar Special Envoy,” Min Aung Lai said.

The ASEAN foreign ministers will meet on Monday, and diplomats said their goal is to finalize a special envoy whose mission is to end violence and promote dialogue between the military government and its opponents.

Min Aung Hlaing also reiterated his promise to restore democracy, but did not elaborate on the timetable.

“I pledge to establish a union based on democracy and federalism,” he said.

The army seized power on Feb. 1 from the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi after her ruling party won elections that the military argues were tainted by fraud. It had stated that its acquisition was constitutional.

The country’s election commission dismissed the fraud allegations.

Since the coup, the military authorities have faced protests, strikes have paralyzed the public and private sectors, and armed conflicts have revived in border areas.

The military authorities branded their opponents as terrorists.

Min Anglai said in his speech: “At present, with the exception of some terrorist attacks, the entire country is very stable.”

The Political Prisoners militant organization Aid Association accused the armed forces of killing 939 people in suppressing dissidents since the coup, and stated that at least 6,990 military opposition groups have been arrested.

The military stated that much fewer protesters were killed, and members of the armed forces also died of violence. It stated that in the face of threats to national security, its response was in line with international norms.

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