Myanmar: Party of Aung San Suu Kyi dissolved

YANGON – The Myanmar military junta has dissolved the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing it of electoral fraud and terrorism. The move is seen as a major blow to the pro-democracy movement that has been protesting against the coup since February.

The NLD won a landslide victory in the November 2020 elections, securing 83% of the seats in parliament. However, the military refused to accept the results, claiming widespread irregularities and demanding a rerun. On February 1, 2021, the military seized power in a coup, detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior NLD officials. The coup sparked widespread condemnation from the international community and triggered mass protests across the country.

The military has responded to the protests with brutal force, killing more than 1,000 civilians and arresting thousands more. The junta has also imposed a state of emergency, shut down internet and media access, banned public gatherings, and declared martial law in some areas. Despite the crackdown, the protesters have remained defiant, demanding the restoration of democracy and the release of political prisoners.

The dissolution of the NLD is seen as an attempt by the junta to eliminate its main political rival and legitimize its rule. The junta’s election commission said that the NLD had committed “acts that are incompatible with the constitution” and violated “the laws on anti-terrorism and treason”. It also said that it would take legal action against Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders for their alleged crimes.

The NLD has rejected the accusations and vowed to continue its fight for democracy. In a statement, the party said that it “will exist as long as the people exist because it was founded for the people”. It also urged its supporters to “march forward with courage” and join forces with other anti-coup groups. The party said that it would not recognize any decision made by the junta or its election commission.

The dissolution of the NLD is likely to further escalate the political crisis in Myanmar and increase the risk of civil war. The junta is facing resistance not only from the pro-democracy movement but also from several ethnic armed groups that have been fighting for autonomy for decades. Some of these groups have formed an alliance with the NLD and have offered shelter and training to protesters who have taken up arms against the military.

The international community has expressed concern over the situation in Myanmar and called for dialogue and restraint. The United Nations Security Council has issued several statements condemning the violence and urging respect for human rights and democratic norms. The United States, the European Union, and other countries have imposed sanctions on the junta and its officials. However, these measures have had little impact on the junta’s behavior so far.

The future of Myanmar remains uncertain and bleak as the junta shows no sign of backing down, and the protesters refuse to give up. The dissolution of the NLD marks a new low in Myanmar’s history and a setback for its democratic transition. The people of Myanmar deserve better than living under fear and oppression. They deserve to have their voices heard and their rights respected.