*** ----> Junta dissolves Suu Kyi party | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Junta dissolves Suu Kyi party

Agencies | Yangon                                                   

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com     

Myanmar’s junta-stacked election commission yesterday announced Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party would be dissolved for failing to re-register under a tough new military-drafted electoral law, state media said.

The military justified its February 2021 coup with unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in 2020 elections won by the NLD, ending a 10-year democratic experiment and plunging the country into turmoil.

In January, it gave political parties two months to re-register under a strict new electoral law ahead of fresh polls it has promised to hold but which its opponents say will be neither free nor fair. Out of 90 existing parties only 50 had applied to re-register under the new rules, state broadcaster MRTV said.

The rest would be dissolved from Wednesday. Suu Kyi co-founded the NLD in 1988 and won a landslide victory in 1990 elections that were subsequently annulled by the then-junta. The NLD carried the torch for democratic aspirations in military-ruled Myanmar and later won crushing victories over military-backed parties in elections in 2015 and 2020.

Its leadership has been decimated in the junta’s bloody crackdown on dissent, with one former lawmaker executed by the junta in the country’s first use of capital punishment in decades. Some leaders in exile had previously called for the party not to re-register under the new rules.

The rules stipulate any party wishing to contest elections nationwide must mobilize at least 100,000 party members within 90 days of registration being granted and open offices in at least half of the country’s townships within 180 days. Those unable to do so will “lose their status” as a political party.

The rules give no details on how those numbers would be verified across the crisis-racked country, where the military is struggling to crush resistance to its coup and rights groups accuse it of massive intimidation. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party had applied to re-register, according to a junta statement.