Myanmar charges Aung San Suu Kyi over alleged election fraud

Generals have used allegations of wrongdoing in the 2020 elections to justify their February coup, although monitors found no evidence.

Myanmar has charged Aung San Suu Kyi, who was overthrown in a military coup, with electoral fraud [File: AFP]

Myanmar has charged 16 people, including former elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, with election fraud over the 2020 elections, state media reported on Tuesday.

Aung San Suu Kyi, former President U Win Myint and the former head of the Elections Commission were among the group accused of “election fraud and lawless actions” during the November polls, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won in a landslide.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said the 16 violated a number of electoral laws, including over military polling booths, advance voting for people above 60 years of age and getting the names of people who had “no right to cast votes” on the ballot.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained since the military seized power on February 1 and has been charged with a litany of offences.

The military has claimed their power grab was necessary because of fraud in the election. Monitors who observed the polls said they were free and fair.

The armed forces have controlled Myanmar for most of the decades since the country’s independence, with Aung San Suu Kyi, now 76, spending years under house arrest.

The coup brought an end to a 10-year experiment with democracy that allowed the military a guaranteed role in government under a military-drafted constitution.

The Global New Light of Myanmar did not give further details on when the latest case might come to court.

The coup has triggered widespread anger, fuelling protests, a mass civil disobedience movement and the development of People’s Defence Forces to fight against the military. Some 1,260 people have been killed as the security forces have tried to stamp out opposition to its rule, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been monitoring the response.

Source: Al Jazeera