Myanmar’s junta-appointed election commission will dissolve Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party (NLD) because of what it said was fraud in a November election, news outlet Myanmar Now said on Friday, citing a commissioner.
Myanmar Now said the decision was made during a meeting with political parties that was boycotted by many parties including the NLD.
Myanmar’s army seized power on Feb.1, overthrowing and detaining the elected civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who fought for democracy for decades before tentative reforms began a decade ago.
The military justified the coup by accusing Suu Kyi’s NLD of obtaining landslide victory through a manipulated vote, though the electoral commission at that time had rejected its complaints.
The election fraud conducted by the NLD in November was illegal “so we will have to dissolve the party’s registration”, the chairman of the junta-backed Union Election Commission (UEC), Thein Soe, was cited in the report as saying. Thein Soe said the people who committed the election fraud “will be considered as traitors” and action will be taken against them.
A spokesman for the junta and for an underground pro-democracy national unity government, which includes ousted members of the NLD, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A spokesman for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party said it had representatives at the meeting, which was still going on, and he was unaware of the outcome.
Security forces have killed more than 800 people since a wave of protests broke out after coup, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group says, though Reuters has been unable to verify the casualties due to a clamp down on media, with many journalists among the thousands of people detained.
Fighting has also flared between the security forces and ethnic minority guerrilla groups.
The turmoil has alarmed Myanmar’s neigbours and the broader international community, but the generals have shown no sign of intention to seek a compromise with the pro-democracy movement.
The NLD was formed around leading opponents of military rule during a student-led uprising in 1988 and has won every election it was allowed to contest.
Co-founded by Suu Kyi, a figurehead of Myanmar’s struggle against dictatorship, the party won a majority of seats in a 1990 election, but the junta did not recognise the result and it took until 2015 for her to come to power with a landslide win.
Nobel laureate Suu Kyi faces numerous charges filed in two courts, the most serious under a colonial-era official secrets act, punishable by 14 years in prison.
Suu Kyi, 75, has been permitted to speak with lawyers only via a video link in the presence of security personnel. Her co-defendant is Win Myint, the ousted president.
Japan, a major donor to Myanmar, will have to rethink its aid provision to Myanmar if the situation in the Southeast Asian nation does not improve, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in Tokyo.