Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against the military coup in front of the Myanmar Economy Bank in Yangon on February 16, 2021.
Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against the military coup in front of the Myanmar Economy Bank in Yangon on February 16, 2021.
AFP

Yangon: Myanmar's military has repeated its promise to hold new elections and relinquish power as anti-coup protests continue across the country.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, once again claimed that the military took control after alleged voter fraud, but did not provide any evidence.

“Our objective is to hold an election and hand power to the winning party,” Zaw Min Tun told the junta’s first news conference since overthrowing Suu Kyi’s government.

The military has not given a date for a new election but 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 nearly two-hour news conference, which the military broadcast from the capital, Naypyitaw, live over Facebook, a platform it has banned.

Asked about the detention of Nobel prize winner Suu Kyi and the president, Zaw Min Tun dismissed the suggestion they were in detention, saying they were in their homes for their security while the law took its course.

He also said Myanmar’s foreign policy would not change, it remained open for business and deals would be upheld.

The military will be hoping its reassurances will dampen the campaign of daily opposition to its rule and to the ousting Suu Kyi and her government.

As well as the demonstrations in towns and cities across the ethnically diverse country, a civil disobedience movement has brought strikes that are crippling many functions of govt.

Meanwhile, peaceful demonstrations against Myanmar's military takeover resumed Tuesday, following violence against protesters a day earlier by security forces and after internet access was blocked for a second straight night.

Groups of demonstrators turned out early in Yangon and other cities to protest the Feb. 1 coup and demand that the nation's elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and members of her ousted government be freed from detention.

In Yangon, police blocked off the street in front of the Central Bank, which protesters have targeted amid speculation online that the military is seeking to seize money from them.

Buddhist monks demonstrated outside the U.N.'s local office.

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