Myanmar’s military-controlled election commission has announced that ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party will be dissolved for failing to re-register under the new election law, according to state television.
Miyawadi TV said in an evening bulletin on Tuesday that the National League for Democracy (NLD) was among 40 political parties that did not meet the deadline for registration in the elections by the ruling army.
In January, the military gave political parties two months to re-register under a strict new electoral law ahead of promised new elections, but opponents say they will be neither free nor fair.
The National League for Democracy said it would not oppose what it describes as illegal elections.
“We absolutely do not accept elections being held at a time when many political leaders and activists are being arrested and people are being tortured by the army,” said Bo Bo O, an elected deputy from Suu Kyi’s party. He said Tuesday.
In November 2020, the National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in the country’s parliamentary elections. But less than three months later, the military staged a coup and imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Nobel laureate, 77, is serving prison terms of up to 33 years after being convicted in a series of politically tainted trials rejected by the military. His supporters say the charges were aimed at preventing him from participating actively in politics.
The military justified the coup by saying that there was significant fraud in the elections, although independent election observers did not find significant irregularities.
The coup sparked new fighting with ethnic rebels and spawned dozens of anti-junta People’s Defense Forces, as the fighting devastated large swathes of the country and the economy was in tatters.
More than 3,100 people have been killed and more than 20,000 arrested since the coup, according to a local monitoring group.
Myanmar’s military has been accused of indiscriminately killing civilians while participating in major offensives to suppress armed resistance that opposed its takeover of the government two years ago.
Since taking power, the military regime has become increasingly dependent on air strikes that have targeted civilian areas with “unguided munitions and missiles”.
Some critics of General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the power grab and is now Myanmar’s most senior leader, believe he acted because the vote thwarted his political ambitions.
No date has been set for the new polls. It was expected at the end of July, according to the plans of the army itself.
But in February, the military announced an unexpected six-month extension of the state of emergency, delaying the possible legal date for elections.
She said safety cannot be guaranteed. The military does not control large parts of the country, as it faces widespread armed resistance to its rule.