Myanmar Extends State of Emergency, Delays Elections

General Min Aung Hlaing

Myanmar’s military regime (Tatmadaw) announced on Tuesday that the nationwide state of emergency will be extended for an additional six months. 

Two years after the Tatmadaw seized power through a coup against the democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD), the military regime has announced they will extend state of emergency for another six months. The National Defense and Security Council unanimously approved the extension.

The official reasons given by Myanmar’s currently acting president are that “the security situation is not stable” and “internal and foreign forces are trying to interfere with the election.” The country’s constitution provides for a state of emergency of one year, which can be extended twice for a maximum of one additional year at the discretion of the National Defense and Security Council.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing gave his reasoning for the decision, stating that public order needed to be restored before polls could be opened. The general provided two explanations of how order must be restored. First, the election will have to take place in at least half of all electoral districts. Second, the Tatmadaw has yet to complete the voter rolls.

MRTV, the state television broadcasting agency, quoted Min Aung Hlaing as saying the military “will work to hold elections in every part of the country so as the people will not lose their democratic right.”

The general did not provide a possible timeline to opening polls, which must occur after the state of emergency ends but before six months have passed from the end of the emergency.