February 24, 2021

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Myanmar’s military ruler promises to hold an election

Myanmar’s military ruler has promised to hold an election and hand power to the winner.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was addressing the country on television, as nationwide protests against his coup last week intensified.

The military seized power last Monday, detaining democratically-elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her government, claiming there had been “huge discrepancies” in the November election.

Hlaing made no mention of Ms Suu Kyi but said foreign policy would remain the same and countries would be encouraged to invest.

He also said he had formed a government of “suitable ministers” and that they would work on creating job opportunities and reopening factories, as well as prioritising prevention of the COVID-19 virus.

Siobhan Robbins, Sky’s South East Asia Correspondent, said the general was “trying to calm people who we’ve seen on the streets in their tens of thousands”.

“I’m not sure this will stop people going out on the street but what it might do is give them a little bit of hear that we might not see such a brutal crackdown – but there’s no guarantee of that.”

Protests continued in the cities of Myanmar on Monday, with video from the capital, Naypyidaw, showing water cannon bursts fired at a group of protesters for about five minutes.