What's happening at the protests in Myanmar?

Talking Politics


Maybe we should just start with where we are today so we're recording this uk. Time on tuesday morning. We're about a week out from the code. What's your understanding of. The current situation is on the first of february army took over arrested. The president's in the de facto head of government on succi said that they were acting within the emergency provisions of the constitution. They said that they would hand back. Power after holding elections within a year's time since then protests have been growing every day. They've spread around the country in several different towns and cities over the past forty eight hours. We've seen massive protests in the biggest city former capital. Rangoon may be hundreds of thousands of people on the streets yesterday yesterday evening. The government put out new regulations. And this morning. They also blocked major intersections and bridges as well in the city so the protests i think have become smaller but they have continued at in naypyidaw the capital. We're getting the first reports that someone may have been killed in altercations between protesters and the security forces. So it's a very very fluid time. We don't know what momentum the protests have they seen bay determined people seem incredibly energized in their desire to oppose takeover by the military. But we don't know what's going to happen because this is an army after all that's crushed many uprisings and demonstrations in the past. So we'll come onto what might come next In a bed. But what's your best understanding of why now so the ostensible reason that's been given is unhappiness about the elections but the elections were in november. So why february. So the elections were in early november around the same week as a. Us elections the commander in chief. The head of the army who turned sixty five. This year is meant to retire. I think he had thought that he might have a chance of of becoming the president after the elections. I think he had hoped that the pro army party the union solidarity and development party usdp would do reasonably well as well as many ethnic minority parties. Were contesting the elections as well when they didn't do well when the nfl the party amongst says suci a landslide. Victory the army. I said they would recognize and respect. The results but in december came increasing allegations from the us dp side of massive electoral fraud. And the army commander in chief and others in the army latched onto that and demanded an investigation that call for an investigation was rejected by the union election commission and that led in january two demands by the army that there'd be a special session of parliament to discuss these allegations that was also rejected by the speaker of the lower house of parliament that was followed by ultimatum and parliament the new parliament the newly elected parliament was meant to sit on the first february and the ultimatum was the weekend before the ultimatum past attempts back and forth reaching compromise that failed in the army seized power just on the on the eve of parliament sitting and the promise now is of new elections within the next twelve months so what reason is that i think that the outcome would be any different unless the elections themselves setup in such ways to guarantee a different outcome given what happened in november given the result would elections at any point in the next twelve months produce a different results. It's very difficult to say that they would. I mean the analogy won a landslide. I think with the army takeover. If anything else has g is more popular than ever strength of feeling against other militaries very high. I think the the pro army party would do even worse if elections were held today or unit. In years time. I think a couple of different sort of possibilities. I mean one is that you know. Assess has now been charged with illegal. Possession of walkie talkies communications equipment. That carries i think maximum prison sentence of three years. One thing would be that they would keep her under house arrest for this period through the next elections which is what they did back in. The army did back in twenty ten when elections were held than the other. Possibility is that they would disband the analogy. The other might be that they hold fresh elections and count on the d. says gee boycotting those elections. They're different possibilities. There's also the possibility that they might try to change the electoral system from first past post system to a proportional representation system in which case smaller parties including the ethnic minority parties. Might do better than they might think that they would have a better chance because the army has an automatic hold on twenty five percent of the seats so they actually just need allied parties to to win twenty five percent up to choose the president and a new government

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