Myanmar extends state of emergency by six months

Soldiers stand next to military vehicles as people gather to protest against the military coup, in Yangon, Myanmar on 15 February 2021.Reuters file photo

Myanmar's National Defence and Security Council has agreed to extend the country's state of emergency by six months, state media said Wednesday, likely delaying elections the junta had pledged to hold by August.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing's request to prolong the state of emergency declared when the generals toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's government in February 2021 was granted, state broadcaster MRTV said.

The "state of emergency will be extended for another six months starting from 1 February", acting president Myint Swe was quoted as saying.

"Sovereign power of the state has been transferred to commander in chief again," he added.

The state of emergency was due to expire at the end of January but on Tuesday the junta-stacked National Defence and Security Council met to discuss the state of the nation and concluded it "has not returned to normalcy yet".

Junta opponents, including anti-coup "People's Defence Forces" and a shadow government dominated by lawmakers from Suu Kyi's party, had tried to seize "state power by means of unrest and violence", the military's information team said in a statement.