Myanmar’s handpicked electoral body has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct a review to determine whether any of the country’s political parties have breached the pledges they made as part of the registration process. The move could be viewed as an attempt by the regime to provide legal cover for dissolving Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), something the Union Election Commission (UEC) recently said it was considering, ostensibly for committing voter fraud.
The request to the ministry came three days after UEC chairman U Thein Soe publicly said that the NLD must be abolished because “it plotted illegally” to win the election.
According to a leaked document, the UEC asked the ministry to check whether any of the country’s 93 registered political parties, including the NLD, have failed to keep the promises they made as required under the Political Parties Registration Law.
According to the law, a party shall neither support nor have links to terrorists or unlawful associations. Those that do shall be abolished.
The request is one of a series of steps taken by the regime that seem aimed at the eventual dissolution of the NLD.
On May 15, regime spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun said at a press conference 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 the NLD, who were elected in November. The NUG was formed by the CRPH as a shadow government to rival the military regime.
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.”
After the coup, the regime arrested NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior party officials. 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.
In response to the UEC chairman’s remark on the party’s possible dissolution, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said during her meeting with her lawyers last week that “the NLD will be there as long as the people are, because the party was founded for the people.”
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