Myanmar military asserts political role as power transition is underway

Myanmar is undergoing a landmark transition from rule under military junta to elected democracy.

Myanmar military said it is the country's sole unifying force and protector of the constitution, days before a democratically elected government would take the reins, culminating the decades-long struggle by democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar is undergoing a landmark transition from rule under military junta to elected democracy.

The clear sign that the armed forces will remain a political force in the county came from senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who was making an Armed Forces Day speech in the capital, Naypyitaw, on Sunday.

The military "cooperated with the government and the people" in holding the election but it would not desist from involving in politics, the general said.

"The Tatmadaw [armed forces] has to be present as the leading role in national politics with regards to the ways we stand along the history and the critical situations of the country," Min Aung Hlaing said, according to Reuters.

The military's four-decade oppressive rule partially ended in 2011 when it allowed a semi- civilian government to come to power.

The historic elections in November saw Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) romping home to a huge majority, paving the way for the creation of a fully democratic government.

Suu Kyi, who has been barred from becoming the president under a constitutional provision, handpicked Htin Kyaw, a trusted lieutenant and ethnic Chin representative, as the president.

The NLD won about 80 percent of the elected seats in election in November, giving it an overwhelming majority in the parliament.

Under the 2008 constitution, the military holds crucial political powers, and 25 percent of the seats in the parliament is reserved for the armed forces.

The armed forces commander in chief has control of three key ministries under the charter drafted under military rule.

General Min Aung Hlaing defined the constitution ahead of the political transition, saying it was drafted by "coordinated efforts of intellectuals, experts from various fields and national races representatives and was ratified by a nationwide referendum".