Military regime’s planned Defense and Security Council Meeting is illegal: Legal experts say

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Yangon, January (22)

 Legal experts have criticized the Defense and Security Council Meeting, which will be held on February 1, after the state of emergency declared by the military council, which seized state power through coercive measures, as illegal.

General Zaw Min Tun, the regime spokesperson, told junta-controlled media a few days ago that the election schemes will be published only after the Defense and Security Council meeting on February 1.

On February 1, 2021, the military detained the country’s elected leaders, held a meeting of the Defense and Security Council under Article 417 of the 2008 Constitution, declared a state of emergency, and seized power for a year.

After that, according to Article 425 of the 2008 Constitution, the state of emergency was extended twice for six months, and this term will expire on January 31.

Therefore, at the meeting of the Defense and Security Council to be held on February 1, the military council must report the situation and accept the council’s decision.

The meeting of the Defense and Security Council, according to Advocate U Gyi Myint, was not in accordance with the law, and Vice President U Myint Swe was not allowed to be president under the 2008 Constitution.

U Gyi Myint added: “Myint Swe’s handover of power to Min Aung Hlaing is also inconsistent with the 2008 Constitution, as are the elections. According to the 2008 Constitution, the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services has no authority to hold elections again. The president must be dealt with according to procedure and cannot be arrested and imprisoned. Those provisions not included in the 2008 Constitution and what Min Aung Hlaing is doing by seizing power are not illegal at all”.

According to the 2008 Constitution, the Defense and Security Council is comprised of the President, the two Vice Presidents, the Speakers of the Amyotha Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw, Senior General, the Vice Senior General, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Minister of Border Affairs.

A lawyer, who did not want to be named for security reasons, pointed out that the Constitutional Tribunal will have to decide whether the transfer of power is consistent with the established constitution at the Defense and Security Council Meeting.

“The Constitutional Tribunal will have to decide whether it is illegal to hold the meeting on February 1 without the presence of the living President U Win Myint and former Speaker Amyotha Hluttaw Mann Win Khaing Than,” he said.

The Defense and Security Council Meeting, which will be convened by the military council, has been denounced as a sham by U Kyaw Zaw, the spokesperson for the National Unity Government (NUG)’s President Office.

Military leader Min Aung Hlaing has said in his New Year and Union Day speeches that after a state of emergency, he will hold a free and fair multi-party democratic general election nationwide and hand over power to the winning party.

Pro-democracy activists point out that the military council is on its way to taking power through mandatory elections without any opposition parties, in which its military-backed candidates will run for election to achieve legitimacy and political escape.

Although the military council has announced a ceasefire for 2023, they continue to carry out airstrikes on areas controlled by ethnic groups, including headquarters and battalions.

News-Than Lwin Times

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