In the early hours of Monday morning on February 1st, 2021 (early Sunday morning in the U.S.), the Myanmar Military (Tatmadaw) seized control over the government, declaring a one-year State of Emergency to investigate voter fraud; just hours before the new Parliament were due to start. The Military claims to have identified 10.5 million instances of voter fraud and has detained the country’s president, U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy (NLD) Lawmakers and members of the Central Executive Committee, in addition to influential entertainer-(Hollywood type) activists.
U Win Myint Swe, during New Year message 2021
A former General, the current Vice President, U Win Myint Swe, will serve as the acting President until the Emergency declaration has ended and a new election occurs. Though Aung San Suu Kyi cannot be President because her two sons are British citizens and the President must have military experience (per the Myanmar constitution), she is the de facto head of government as the State Counsellor and leader of the parliamentary majority ruling NLD party.
In 2016, Aung San Suu Kyi apologized for not becoming Myanmar’s President and stated, “I’ll run the government and we’ll have a president who will work in accordance with the policies of the NLD.”
On November 8th, 2020, Myanmar held its parliamentary elections, and the National League for Democracy (NLD) party appeared to have won the election by a landslide over the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The NLD and USDP are the two largest political parties in Myanmar.
As with some countries holding elections during a global pandemic, special provisions were afforded due to the CCPVirus, which included “advanced voting” for certain populations.