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(March 12, 2021) Myanmar takes lead in autocratic race

In the aftermath of the military coup on Feb 1, Myanmar's armed forces have evidently taken the lead in Southeast Asia's authoritarian race to the bottom. For its speed and depth of reversal from a fragile democracy to a hard dictatorship within six weeks, Myanmar currently ranks top among developing states worldwide. At stake now is not just Myanmar's political future and the well-being of its people but the fate of developing democracies elsewhere.

If Myanmar's military succeeds and retains power through violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters, the global authoritarian upsurge will gain pivotal momentum. Autocrats everywhere will be emboldened as much as leaders in democratic states will be discouraged. All who want to turn back the tide of authoritarian rule have a vested interest in seeing to it that the Myanmar junta, led by chief coup-maker Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, loses in the end but in a way that allows the country to maintain a peaceful and workable outcome for its 55 million ethnically diverse population.

www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/2082175/myanmar-takes-lead-in-autocratic-race


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