In his televised address, his first since the coup, Min Aung Hlaing insisted the seizure of power was justified because of “voter fraud”.

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The NLD won last November’s national elections by a landslide but the military never accepted the legitimacy of the vote.

Shortly after the coup, the military announced a one-year state of emergency and promised to then hold fresh elections.

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Min Aung Hlaing on Monday insisted the military would abide by its promises. He also declared that things would be “different” from the army’s previous 49-year reign, which ended in 2011.

“After the tasks of the emergency period are completed, free and fair multi-party general elections will be held according to the constitution,” he said.

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“The winning party will be transferred state duty according to democratic standards.”

But those pledges were accompanied by threats.

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In the face of the increasingly bold wave of defiance, the military released a statement on state TV on Monday warning that opposition to the junta was unlawful.

“Action must be taken according to the law with effective steps against offences which disturb, prevent and destroy the state’s stability, public safety and the rule of law,” said the statement read by an announcer on MRTV.

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