Military junta charges ousted leader Suu Kyi with election-rigging — Analysis

Sixteen Myanmar ex-officials, including deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, have been slapped with new charges related to the 2020 election by the Asian country’s military junta.

According to the announcement made by the National Election Body on Tuesday, fifteen officials including Suukyi have been charged with crimes related the the alleged rigging the 2020 election. The chairman of the electoral commission and Win Myint, the ousted president, are also targets.

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The November 2020 general election was won by Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). On February 1, the country’s powerful military, which ruled as a dictatorship before a shaky transition to a representative democracy a decade earlier, launched a coup, deposing the civilian government. According to the military, the election was won by the NLD against the party it supported. While the NLD denied these claims, international observers stated that the election was mostly fair and free.

Suu Kyi is currently being held since her overthrow. She is being charged with violating Covid-19 regulations during her campaign. The charges include illegal importing radios, corruption, and sedition. If convicted, the 76-year old faces years in prison after she was placed under house arrest for many years.

NLD supporters resisted the military coup and the junta responded by cracking down. Critics of the military say that as many as 1,250 persons were killed during the confrontation and that more than 10,000 people were arrested.

Many lawmakers from the NLD formed a rival government, which in September declared a “people’s defensive war” against military rule. Suu Kyi did not comment on the situation.

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