Myanmar election body charges Suu Kyi with electoral fraud

Bangkok (TIP): Myanmar’s state election commission announced it is prosecuting the country’s ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and 15 other senior political figures for alleged fraud in last November’s general election.

The announcement was published on Tuesday in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper and other official media. Allegations of widespread electoral fraud were the main reason cited by the military for its February 1 seizure of power that toppled Suu Kyi’s government. Her National League for Democracy party was about to begin a second five-year term in office after its landslide victory in the polls. The army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party suffered unexpectedly heavy losses.

Independent observers, such as the Asian Network for Free Elections, found no evidence of substantive irregularities in the polls, though they criticised some aspects.

The action by the Union Election Commission could potentially result in Suu Kyi’s party being dissolved and unable to participate in a new election the military has promised will take place within two years of its takeover. However, the commission’s notice, dated Monday, did not specify which laws would be used to prosecute the accused.

In May, the military-appointed new head of the election commission said his agency would consider dissolving Suu Kyi’s former governing party for alleged involvement in electoral fraud and have its leaders charged with treason. AP

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