Myanmar junta dissolves Suu Kyi’s party after election deadline | CNN

Myanmar’s military government has dissolved former leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted ruling party and 39 other parties, state media said on Tuesday, for failing to register for an election intended to extend the army’s hold on power.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) is among dozens of parliamentary parties severely weakened by the military’s 2021 coup against Suu Kyi’s elected government and its crackdown on protests against her rule.

The elections, for which no date has been announced, will come amid a deepening crisis in Myanmar, where the military is fighting on multiple fronts to crush ethnic minority armies and a resistance movement has been formed to combat the deadly repression of anti-coup forces – Countering dissidents.

In a live broadcast late Tuesday, state-run Myawaddy TV said 63 parties had registered at the local or national level and named 40 parties, which were automatically dissolved for not registering by Tuesday’s deadline.

The election will almost certainly be swept by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a military proxy beaten by the NLD in the 2015 election and in a 2020 vote the generals eventually invalidated, citing unaddressed irregularities explained.

Hugely popular Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, 77, is among dozens of NLD members jailed since the coup and is serving 33 years on multiple counts of corruption, a state secrets law violation and incitement, among other crimes.

Tun Myint, a senior NLD official, said the party would never have registered for the election if many of its members had been in prison or “involved in the revolution”.

“It doesn’t matter if they say our party is dissolved or not. We stand with the support of the people,” Tun Myint told Reuters.

The shadow government of National Unity (NUG), which the junta has declared “terrorists,” said the military had no authority to hold sham elections.

“The political parties that respect people’s wishes have not registered,” their spokesman Kyaw Zaw said.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing on Monday urged international critics to back his efforts to restore democracy.

The election would return Myanmar to the quasi-civilian democratic system that experts say the military can control if the NLD is out of the picture.

Under the power-sharing agreement outlined in the constitution, the military are guaranteed three ministerial portfolios, a quarter of all parliamentary seats and a say in the presidential nomination.

Richard Horsey, senior adviser to the International Crisis Group, said the election was dangerous for the country.

“The majority of the population is adamantly opposed to going to the polls to legitimize political control of the military, so we will see violence escalate as the regime tries to impose a vote and resistance groups try to impose it disturb,” said Horsey, who was based in Myanmar for 15 years.

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