Myanmar leader tells his government taking power was inevitable

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar military commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, attends a military exercise at Ayeyarwaddy delta region in Myanmar, February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Lynn Bo Bo/Pool

(Reuters) - Myanmar’s coup leader Min Aung Hlaing told the first meeting of his new government on Tuesday that it was inevitable the army would have to take power after its protests over alleged election fraud last year - which the electoral commission had dismissed, the army information service said.

The army, known as the Tatmadaw, took power on Monday and overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Despite the Tatmadaw’s repeated requests, this path was chosen inevitably for the country. Until the next government is formed after the upcoming election, we need to steer the country,” Min Aung Hlaing was quoted as saying. “During the state of emergency, the election and fighting COVID-19 are set priorities.”

Editing by Matthew Tostevin