Charges filed against MPs who formed parallel government to deny military regime legitimacy  

The military’s State Administrative Council has issued arrest warrants for incitement against 17 lawmakers who formed a parallel government after the February 1 coup to deny legitimacy to the new regime. 

The lawmakers from the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) have been charged under section 505b of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. 

Phyu Phyu Thin, a Pyithu Hluttaw MP from Mingalar Taung Nyunt township, said a case had been filed against her at her local court but it was invalid.

“The military dictatorship has not been recognized as the government,” she said. “The international community also does not recognize them. They are not a government because they are not recognized. So it is not appropriate for the armed forces to sue the people’s elected MPs.”

She and the other MPs are in hiding to avoid arrest. 

The charges followed a meeting of regime officials in Naypyitaw on February 15 to discuss the issue.

After news of the arrest warrants emerged, a large crowd gathered in front of the residence of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on University Avenue on Tuesday to show support for the CRPH.

“The CRPH is an organization formed by elected MPs of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw,” said Chit Ko Ko, one of those protesting. “It is a legal, diplomatically legitimate organization. We do not trust the current military regime.”

Soldiers confined newly elected MPs to their living quarters in Naypyitaw just hours before they were due to take their seats for a new term on February 1.

On February 5 hundreds of MPs appointed the 17-member CHRP, which has called upon foreign governments not to recognise the military regime. Any legislation passed by the coup makers is illegitimate and only the CHRP has a mandate to perform parliamentary duties, it said. 

The committee forms part of a “no recognition, no participation” strategy aimed at toppling the military regime.

Tens of thousands of government employees have joined strikes, saying they will only work for the democratically elected government.  

Last week, after the military amended a law to require people to register overnight guests, the committee issued a statement saying that the amendment was invalid and people did not need to obey it.  

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