Myanmar opposition plea turned down

Court refuses to hear lawsuit against new election laws that bar oppositiion leaders.

The new laws drew sharp criticism from the international community and rights groups [EPA]
The new laws drew sharp criticism from the international community and rights groups [EPA]

It was unclear what the NLD plans to do next as it seeks to quash the five new election-related laws the military government enacted earlier this month.

Opposition curbs

One of the laws prohibits anyone convicted of a crime from being a member of a political party and instructs parties to expel convicted members or face de-registration.

Myanmar election laws

Myanmar’s military government has announced new laws governing national election expected later this year. The following are key points of the laws announced so far:

 Anyone convicted by courts is barred from standing as a candidate or voting.

 Parties must expel any many member convicted and serving time in jail or in detention.

 Political parties wanting to contest poll must re-register with election commission within 60 days.

 Anyone disrupting voting can be jailed for up to one year.

 Results of previous 1990 election, won by the NLD, are annulled.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who leads the NLD, was convicted last year on charges of violating her house arrest.

Besides her, the recently-passed election rules will also prevent more than 2,000 other opposition members from running for office.

Nyan Win, a spokesman for the NLD, earlier said the party will file a suit against the ruling State Peace and Development Council at the high court.

“We are taking the legal step against the electoral laws as they are unfair and the laws are a violation of human rights, personal rights and organisational rights,” he said.

The NLD will only decide on Friday whether to officially register the party, the first step towards participating in the elections.

The elections, part of the military government’s so-called “roadmap to democracy”, will be the first since 1990, when the NLD won a landslide victory.


The ruling generals rejected the victory results and has kept Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, jailed or under detention for 14 of the past 20 years.

Upon its approval, the set of new laws drew a raft of international criticism from rights groups and the United Nations, and even the Philippines.

The Philippines and Myanmar are members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a body that traditionally shies away from criticising the affairs of fellow members.

Critics have also derided the “roadmap to democracy” as a sham designed to cement the military’s power.

The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Myanmar due to its refusal to recognise the 1990 elections and the prolonged detention of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Source: News Agencies


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