Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged for alleged fraud in the country’s national election last year.
Junta’s allegations: On Tuesday, state-run publication Global New Light of Myanmar published the Union Election Commission’s announcement that Suu Kyi, 76, and other senior politicians are facing electoral fraud charges, reported the Associated Press.
- According to the announcement, 16 individuals, including Suu Kyi, former President Win Myint, other party officers and the election commission’s former chairman were “involved in electoral processes, election fraud and lawless actions.”
- During the Myanmar coup d’état on Feb. 1, the military junta cited widespread electoral fraud as its justification for taking over Suu Kyi’s government.
- The military transferred power to Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing who it said would take control of the country for one year, NextShark previously reported.
- In the election held in November last year, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory over the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.
- NLD’s win would have given the detained leader her second five-year term as the de facto head of the Myanmar government.
- While independent poll-watcher Asian Network for Free Elections criticized certain parts of the election, it found no evidence of significant irregularities.
- In 1991, Suu Kyi became a nobel laureate and was deemed “an outstanding example of the power of the powerless” by late Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee Francis Sejersted, according to PBS.
A party’s end: The state election commission’s recent announcement is pointing towards its previously announced intention of dissolving Suu Kyi’s party, which could happen ahead of the new election that the junta has pledged in two years following the coup d’état.
- According to military-appointed Commission Chairman Thein Soe, their investigation concluded that the NLD gave itself an unfair advantage at the election through illegal means.
- Composed of military appointees, the new commission did not specify which laws would be used to prosecute the detained political leaders.
- Independent Myanmar media platforms have reported that members of the old commission were detained and forced to corroborate with the new commission’s election fraud accusations.
- Among the alleged fraudulent actions include local election officials obstructing military polling booths, officials being threatened to allow advance voting for senior voters, local officials getting forced to approve ineligible voters in voting lists and campaign interference that favored Suu Kyi’s party.
A dozen cases: The election fraud allegation is just among the dozen of criminal cases Suu Kyi and her party mates are facing on trial.
- Last month Suu Kyi appeared in a courtroom in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw to face charges of “inciting public unrest,” illegal walkie-talkie importation and breaking COVID-19 regulations,” reported the New York Times.
- The court is set to give its verdict on Nov. 30 for the incitement charges, in which she could be sentenced to a maximum of 102 years in prison.
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