- Myanmar’s junta-backed election commission will dissolve Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party.
- The National League for Democracy (NLD) was accused of “election fraud,” and will be broken up.
- The election commission’s chairman called the NLD “traitors” for conducting said “fraud.”
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Myanmar’s military junta has made new moves to dismantle Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party.
In a meeting in Naypyitaw on Friday afternoon local time, the head of Myanmar’s junta-backed election commission cited “election fraud” by the National League for Democracy Party as the reason for the dissolution.
He added that the military regime would prosecute the NLD’s leaders as “traitors” for committing said fraud.
Myanmar Now separately reported that this decision was made during a meeting that was boycotted by most of the country’s political parties, including the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, the Arakan National Party, and the Kachin State People’s Party.
Aung San’s NLD-led government won the country’s election in November last year in a landslide. However, it was overthrown by the junta in a military coup on February 1, when military officials rounded up politicians, including Aung San and ousted president Win Myint, in a series of early morning raids.
The junta has often cited electoral fraud as its justification for the February coup, but independent commissions have found no evidence of fraud.
The junta has since charged Aung San with various crimes, alleging that she illegally imported walkie-talkies and violated Myanmar’s natural disaster law, among other issues. According to Reuters, she faces a particularly serious charge — an alleged violation of the official secrets act, for which she faces a 14-year jail term.
In March, the BBC reported Aung San appeared in court via video link to answer these charges and seemed to be in good health. However, other NLD officials have met tragic ends. Two NLD party members, Yangon NLD campaign manager Khin Maung Latt and Zaw Myat Linn, the head of the Suu Vocational Institute in the Shwe Pyi Thar Township of Yangon region, died in military custody in March.
Reuters reported that as of this week, over 800 people had been killed in violent pro-democracy protests. The death toll was released by the local activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which noted that the actual number of fatalities could not be verified and may be much higher.
In the wake of the coup, skirmishes between the junta and minority ethnic groups in the country’s border regions have also erupted. The most prominent anti-coup rebel group, the Karen National Union, is in open rebellion against the military government and has set up an army encampment near the Thai border.
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