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Myanmar: Why did the military coup? The focus is on two questions

Naypyidaw. In Myanmar, the military took control on Monday and overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The official reason to have been allegations of electoral fraud in the November election, which the party of the former freedom icon Suu Kyi had won again by a huge margin. So far, there is no evidence for the allegations.

The military staged a coup on the very day the newly elected parliament was due to meet. The world is puzzled over what the real motivations of the armed forces were to stifle democratic reforms and regain control. Two questions are in the foreground:

Why did the military coup in Myanmar?

According to the constitution, the military in Myanmar is extremely powerful in parliament anyway - why did it go ahead anyway? The army automatically holds 25 percent of the seats in parliament, and it also holds important ministerial posts, for example in the departments of home affairs, defense and border affairs. The junta had insisted on this after almost 50 years of dictatorship.

Why did the coup come now?

Observers believe that the military primarily wanted to counteract Suu Kyi's growing popularity in the country. Her election victory was downright landslide. The 75-year-old, who has been the de facto head of government since 2015, has repeatedly called for the quota for constitutional changes to be changed. "This has deepened the military's suspicions that Suu Kyi wanted to change the civil-military balance of power," wrote the Indian daily "Hindustan Times" on Tuesday.

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