Suu Kyi’s party seeks legal status

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

YANGON - Myanmar democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) are seeking a judicial order to reinstate it as a legal political party, officials said Wednesday.

The NLD lost its status in May after refusing to register for the Nov 7 general election, the first in more than 20 years.

The party boycotted the election to protest a law that would have required it to drop Suu Kyi as a member if the NLD were to be put on the ballot.

NLD lawyer Nyan Win said he would argue at the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw, the military government’s capital, to restore the party’s legal status. He said arguments in the case would take about 10 days.

The NLD had won the previous national election, in 1990, by a landslide but was blocked from assuming power by the military.

New registration rules for this month’s elections barred parties with members who were serving sentences from court convictions. Suu Kyi was under house detention until Nov 13.

Many Western critics consider the Nov 7 polls as a sham used by the military junta to legitimise its hold on power.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party, a junta proxy, won an estimated 80 percent of the 1,159 contested seats in the three chambers of parliament.

The party has been accused of tampering with advance ballots, and bribing or intimidating voters.

News of the election was overshadowed by the release of the 65-year-old Nobel Peace laureate, who has spent 15 of the past 20 years under house arrest.

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