YANGON: Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD) party on Monday (Feb 1) said its leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on the public not to accept a coup by the military and urged them to protest.
"The actions of the military are actions to put the country back under a dictatorship," the NLD said in a statement which carried leader Aung San Suu Kyi's name.
"I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military."
The statement, released on the Facebook page of its party head, Aung San Suu Kyi, said the military's actions were unjustified and went against the constitution and the will of voters.
It was not possible to confirm who posted the statement as NLD members were not answering phone calls.
A senior leader of the NLD party said the decision by General Min Aung Hlaing to stage a coup at a time when Myanmar was struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic showed personal ambitions rather than concern for the country.
"The country's economy is going down. At this time, the fact that he conducted a coup shows that he doesn't think about the future," Win Htein said in a video posted on Facebook.
Myanmar military television said on Monday that the military was taking control of the country for one year, while reports said many of the country’s senior politicians including Aung San Suu Kyi had been detained.
A presenter on military-owned Myawaddy TV announced the takeover and cited a section of the military-drafted constitution that allows the military to take control in times of national emergency.
He said the reason for takeover was in part due to the government’s failure to act on the military’s claims of voter fraud in last November’s election and its failure to postpone the election because of the coronavirus crisis.
The announcement and the declaration of a state of emergency follows days of concern about the threat of a military coup – and military denials that it would stage one – and came on the morning the country’s new Parliament session was to begin.