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Security Council unity ‘crucial’ to support democracy in Myanmar

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Christine Schraner Burgener addressed ambassadors during a closed meeting held the day after Myanmar’s military seized power and detained top political leaders and activists, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

“More than ever, this Council’s unity is crucial”, she said, according to remarks shared afterwards.

“I strongly condemn the recent steps taken by the military and urge all of you to collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar.”

‘Surprising and shocking’

The crisis stems from elections held in November, marking the second democratic elections in Myanmar since the end of military rule a decade ago.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), scored a landslide victory. The military and some political parties claimed the vote was fraudulent.

Myanmar’s Supreme Court was scheduled to pronounce this month on its jurisdiction over complaints of alleged election-related violations.

“We had earlier encouraged all electoral disputes should be resolved through established legal mechanisms”, Ms. Schraner Burgener said.  “There appeared to be a commitment on the part of the military to safeguard the rule of law. So, the turn of events was surprising and shocking.”

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