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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Myanmar military’s reason for coup will not gain support

  • February 2, 2021
  • , Yomiuri , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

Interviewed by Akihito Goto

 

The military coup [in Myanmar] is an unexpected turn of events, especially because the military had promised only one day earlier to abide by the Constitution.

 

The military’s insistence that its takeover of the government was in accordance with the Constitution is just an official excuse. It is unclear what “emergency” the military is referring to in its explanation. If the military’s only reason for the coup is election fraud, which it has alleged, it will not obtain support for its action from the global community or the people of Myanmar.

 

The military may be aiming at bringing back the administration of military-backed Thein Sein in the next general election, which is scheduled one year from now. To this end, the military may be planning to enact legislation that prevents the National League for Democracy (NLD) from fielding candidates and any political party from gaining a majority. It is likely the military is hoping to control Myanmar’s politics by forming a coalition government of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and another party that caters to the military’s wishes.

 

The coup is a severe blow to Myanmar’s domestic economy, which is already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past several years, the trend among Japanese corporations to invest in Myanmar has somewhat cooled. With the current political developments, Japanese businesses will withdraw from Myanmar along with their U.S., European, and Australian counterparts. The future of Myanmar is damaged and its economic development will be delayed because of the coup.

 

Kei Nemoto is a professor at Sophia University. He specializes in the history of modern Myanmar.

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