Myanmar’s military on Tuesday guaranteed that it would hold an election and hand power to the winner, denying that its ouster of an elected government was a coup and denouncing protesters for inciting violence and intimidating civil servants.
The military’s justification of its Feb. 1 seizure of power and arrest of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others came as protesters again took to the streets and after a U.N. envoy warned the army of “severe consequences” for any harsh response to the demonstrations.
“Our objective is to hold an election and hand power to the winning party,” Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, spokesman for the ruling council, told the military’s first news conference since it seized power.
The military has not given a date for a new election but it has imposed a state of emergency for one year. Zaw Min Tun said the military would not hold power for long.
“We guarantee … that the election will be held,” he told the news conference which the military broadcast live over Facebook, a platform the military has banned.