After weeks of operating in hiding, the Committee for the Representation of the Parliamentary Union (CPRH) has taken action. The one that is presented as the only legitimate Government of Myanmar, where the military carried out a coup in February, announced this Friday to the components of its Cabinet, putting Aung San Suu Kyi in front, detained since the coup. Initially created by members of the Nobel Peace Prize party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) – winner of the November elections – it includes representatives of ethnic minorities and aims to restore democracy in the Asian country.
"Please welcome the People's Government," the pro-democracy activist Min Ko Kaing has announced in a video posted on Facebook, who has read a statement published by the CPRH on social networks this Friday. It reaffirms its "authority" to establish a government due to the will expressed by the Burmese people in the November elections. So the NLD won 83% of the seats in dispute – 396 of the 476 in contention – while the military, represented by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), only won 33 seats. Faced with the electoral debacle, the USDP denounced election fraud, without presenting evidence. Some claims that the Army used as a pretext to carry out the coup on February 1 in Naypidó, the capital, the day on which the new Parliament was constituted. It would have been the second term of Suu Kyi, leader de facto of the Government since the NLD won the 2015 elections.
Refusing to accept the mandates of the coup junta, NLD deputies still at large – many were detained by the military, including Suu Kyi and the president, Win Myint – formed the CPRH with the aim of creating a federal government and army. that includes other political parties, civil organizations and even guerrillas made up of ethnic minorities. According to the list of appointments revealed this Friday, Suu Kyi remains as State Councilor, the position created for her after the 2015 elections and with which she practiced as leader of the Government. The presidency, which the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner could not formally occupy because the 2008 Constitution – drawn up by the military – prevents someone with a foreign spouse and children like her from being, continues to be assigned to Win Myint, also arrested by the uniformed.
Both Suu Kyi and Win Myint face various charges. Among other crimes, the Nobel is accused by the military of violating the law of official secrets, which could carry a sentence of up to 14 years in prison. The CPRH, for its part, accumulates evidence against the generals with the intention that they be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, for which it has contracted the services of a London-based law firm, Volterra Fietta. More than 700 civilians, including 46 children, have lost their lives as a result of repression by security forces since the riot, according to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The CPRH has announced a new position, that of Prime Minister, which falls to Mahn Win Khaing Than, a member of the Karen ethnic group. Other ministerial portfolios are also occupied by representatives of ethnic minorities —Myanmar recognizes up to 135 and many have spent decades fighting for the self-determination of their territories—, with the aim of moving away from the Bamar vision —the country's majority group— that has characterized the Tatmadaw. (Burmese Army), and previous governments. Salai Maung Taing San, known as Doctor Sasa and one of the main spokespersons for the CPRH from the beginning, was appointed Minister for International Cooperation. Sasa is ethnic Chin and Christian, in a country where almost 90% of the population is Buddhist. “We are the democratic leaders of Myanmar. If the world rejects us, they reject democracy, ”Sasa said, according to Reuters. The politician compared the case of Myanmar with that of Venezuela and the opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
At the moment, there is no evidence that the self-appointed civilian government includes members of the Rohingya minority, Muslim and victims of a Tatmadaw campaign that led more than 720,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh in 2017, which the UN is investigating for possible genocide.
Despite the efforts of the CPRH to be internationally recognized as the legitimate voice of former Burma, it was revealed this Friday that the leader of the military junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, will attend a summit convened by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (ASEAN) on April 24, according to the Burmese media The irrawaddy. Held in Jakarta at the behest of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, it will be the first high-level diplomatic meeting of the Tatmadaw commander-in-chief. With it, the ASEAN countries, of which Myanmar is a part (along with Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei) are expected to discuss possible solutions to avoid the collapse of the neighboring country.
The military junta faces strong opposition from Burmese civil society, which since the coup has been leading strikes and protests that are violently dispersed by the security forces.