Although they were targeted by the junta for destruction, the elected members of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which was ousted in March, are unaffected and promise to work with the people to remove the military dictatorship from the country and restore democracy, which has been in turmoil ever since the coup.
The Feb. 1 coup would have prevented the victorious 2020 general election candidates from being seated in parliament. They could serve their constituents and fulfill their election promises if they had not been there.
Instead of fulfilling their parliamentary duties on the one year anniversary of the nationwide election, elected MPs are in custody or hiding and revolting against the junta which ignored millions of voters’ wishes.
“People, including youths, voted with hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow in the election. Just as we [elected members] were determined to keep working for our country’s people and country, so did they. But, the coup destroyed everything,” stated Daw Myat Thida Hutun, an elected lawmaker from NLD.
An estimated 5 million people aged between 15 and 24 voted in the last election. This was among a total 37 million eligible voters. Over 27 million people, or more than 70% of eligible voters, went to polling stations in spite of a spike in coronavirus cases. They overwhelmingly supported NLD and won a huge victory.
Daw Myat Thida Htun was preparing to start a new term as she was reelected to the Union Parliament seat for Mon State. She planned to work on anti-corruption and land confiscated from farmers.
After being arrested by the junta, she was forced into hiding with other elected legislators and party members.
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More than 460 NLD members, including more than 100 lawmakers, have been detained since the coup. Since February 1, the party’s leaders, President U Win Myint and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, were both arrested. Hundreds of senior members remain detained.
Many ridiculous charges were brought against the party’s officials detained, including President U Win Myint and Daw Aung San Sueu Kyi.
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Many party members, including senior leaders, were taken into detention and later died. U Nyan Win, a member of NLD Central Executive Committee, was Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s longtime personal lawyer. U Nyunt Shwe was also an NLD elected lawmaker and chair of the party’s Bago Township office. Both died from COVID-19 while being held.
Four members of the party, U Khin Maung Latt, U Zaw Myat Lin from Myanmar’s largest city Yangon and U Kyaw Kyaw, from Naypyitaw, and Ko Than Htun Oo (aka Ko Min Ko Thein, Mandalay) were tortured to death in military interrogation centres.