Junta charge Suu Kyi with election fraud
MYANMAR: Myanmar’s junta has charged ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi with committing electoral fraud during the 2020 polls, state media reported today.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since a military coup in February sparked nationwide protests and a deadly crackdown on dissent.
Detained since the putsch, Suu Kyi, 76, faces a raft of charges including illegally importing walkie talkies, sedition and corruption, and faces decades in jail if convicted.
The latest charges entail “election fraud and lawless actions”, state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar reported, without giving details on when court proceedings would begin.
Fifteen other officials — including former president Win Myint and the former chairman of the election commission — face the same charge, the report added.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party (NLD) saw its support increase in the 2020 vote compared to the 2015 election, trouncing a military-aligned party.
But the junta has cited fraud during the poll as its reason for seizing power and ending Myanmar’s democratic interlude. In July, it cancelled the results of the polls, announcing it had uncovered more than 11 million instances of voter irregularities. Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said fresh elections would be held and a state of emergency lifted by August 2023, extending the military’s initial timeline given when it seized power.
In a report on the 2020 polls, the Asian Network for Free Elections monitoring group had said it was “by and large, representative of the will of the people”.
– THE MALAY MAIL