Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other ruling party officials were arrested during an early Monday morning action (1st) local time Sunday evening (31st) in Brazil.
The operation follows escalating tensions between the civilian government and the powerful military, which have raised fears of a coup following an election the military calls fraudulent.
Myo Nyunt, spokesperson for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said by phone that Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders had been “caught”. “I want to tell our people not to respond in a hurry and I want them to act according to the law,” said he, who also expects to be arrested.
The telephone lines in Naypyitaw, the capital, were not functioning Monday morning. State TV said in a Facebook post that it was experiencing technical issues that prevented the broadcast. A military spokesperson did not respond to calls from the Reuters news agency.
The NLD lawmaker, who asked not to be appointed for fear of reprisal, said that among the detainees was Han Thar Myint, a member of the party’s central executive committee.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Suu Kyi, 75, came to power after a landslide victory in 2015, after 15 years of house arrest in a struggle for democracy that has turned her into an international icon.
Its global projection was undermined after hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas fled army operations to take refuge in Rakhine State, western Myanmar, in 2017, but it remains very popular in the country. .
In the November elections last year, the NLD also won a landslide victory by defeating a pro-military party. Myanmar’s military said on Saturday it would protect and respect the constitution and act within the law, after comments earlier this week raised fears of a coup.
Myanmar’s electoral commission dismissed military allegations of electoral fraud, saying there were no errors large enough to affect the credibility of the vote. The Constitution reserves 25% of seats in parliament for the military and oversight of three important ministries in Suu Kyi’s administration.