Myanmar Junta-Appointed UEC to Decide NLD's Fate Later This Month

By The Irrawaddy 24 March 2022

Myanmar’s regime-appointed Union Election Commission will rule on the legality of the National League for Democracy (NLD) later this month for failing to comply with its order to submit financial accounts and expenses for inspection.

The NLD has refused to recognize the UEC, which was formed after last year’s coup and said all its announcements are illegal.

The NLD and Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) refused to attend the UEC’s offices for inspection in mid-February. The SNLD has invited UEC inspectors to come to its office to inspect but refuses to attend the UEC office, saying it has done nothing wrong.

The regime’s UEC says it has inspected 83 out of 92 registered political parties since August last year and warned that any party refusing an inspection would face legal action.

“UEC members will hold a management meeting after [Sunday’s] Armed Forces Day and we will make a decision,” UEC member U Khin Maung Oo told a press conference in Naypyitaw on Thursday.

“These two parties did not come to be inspected on Feb. 14 so we told them to come before March 9,” he said.

U Khin Maung Oo said the two parties were now in breach of the Political Parties Registration Law.

The law says parties can be suspended for three years and will only be allowed to do specific activities. Any breach could lead to disbandment.

Sai Kyaw Nyunt, the SNLD’s joint secretary, on Thursday said: “We didn’t go to the UEC on March 9 and no one came to us. There has been no talk between us.

“Any suspension or disbandment is their decision. Around 10 parties are in the same position. The UEC will have to think about the consequences of its decisions.”

The UEC says the next general election will use proportional representation with a closed-list system.

Regime leader Min Aung Hlaing has promised an election by August next year.

The junta alleges that the NLD –which won a large majority in the 2020 general election – took part in voters-list fraud, despite international and domestic observers being satisfied it was a free and fair election.

Party leaders, including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, were arrested during the coup and have been in detention and face trials on numerous charges.

Myanmar’s junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun told Thursday’s press conference that “free and fair” voting will take place nationwide.

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