South Asia and Beyond

Myanmar Junta To Dissolve National League For Democracy

 Myanmar Junta To Dissolve National League For Democracy

The military regime-appointed election body said on Friday that it would dissolve the National League for Democracy (NLD) for allegedly committing voter fraud, and take action against those who it says “rigged” the November vote, calling them “traitors”.

The military justified its February coup by alleging massive voter fraud in November’s general election, which brought a landslide victory to the NLD. However, the Asian Network for Free Elections said the outcome of the vote was “by and large, representative of the will of the people of Myanmar.”

At a meeting with political parties on Friday—its second since the coup—the junta-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) claimed it had found evidence that the NLD intentionally violated the law to ensure its landslide victory in November’s poll.

“What should we do with the NLD, which plotted against the law [to win the election]? The party must be abolished. And we must consider taking action against those who rigged the vote as traitors to the country,” said UEC chairman U Thein Soe, a former major general in the Myanmar military.

Military spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said at a press conference on May 15 that action must be taken against the NLD under the Political Parties Registration Law and the military-drafted 2008 Constitution, because the party supports the National Unity Government (NUG) and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), both of which the regime has declared to be terrorist and unlawful associations.

The CRPH represents lawmakers, mostly from NLD, who were elected in November. The NUG was formed by the CRPH as a shadow government to rival the military regime.

Under the Political Parties Registration Law and the 2008 Constitution, any party with links to terrorists or unlawful associations shall be abolished.

The UEC has been reviewing voter lists, and only 21 townships are left to be reviewed out of 315 where voting was held in November, said UEC member U Khin Maung Oo.

At the regime’s press conference on May 7, another military spokesman, Major Kaung Htet San, said the regime would decide what action to take regarding the NLD based on the results of the voter list review.

The regime arrested NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior leaders of the party after the coup. It has continued to arrest and issue warrants for party members and elected NLD lawmakers across the country. A number of NLD members have died while being tortured in military custody.

(By arrangement with ‘The Irrawaddy’)


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