Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior political figures have been detained in an early morning raid, a spokesperson for the country’s National League for Democracy has said.
The development follows days of escalating tension in the South East Asian nation, after the powerful military stoked fears of a coup following last November’s election.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won the election in a landslide victory, but the military has said the result was affected by widespread voting fraud.
National League for Democracy spokesman Myo Nyunt said: “I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” he said, adding he was expecting to be detained too.
Last week, Australia joined several other Western nations in issuing a statement warning Myanmar’s military against staging a coup in the aftermath of the election.
“We urge the military, and all other parties in the country, to adhere to democratic norms and we oppose any attempt to alter the outcome of the elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition,” the statement said.
The military held power in Myanmar for fifty years before there was a transition to a democratic system of government in 2010.
Aung San Suu Kyi was the Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1991 for her commitment to democracy in Myanmar. She joined the government in 2015.
In 2019, she appeared before the international court of justice over claims of Maynmar’s human rights atrocities targeting the Rohingya minority and her failure to defend them. In 2018, Amnesty International made the decision to strip Suu Kyi of their prestigious Human Rights Award.