In a petition released in the lead-up to the ASEAN Leaders' Summit in Vietnam to Myanmar's leaders, several ASEAN policymakers have condemned election laws unveiled by the junta which have been criticised as undermining the credibility of the vote, the first to be held in the country for two decades. The petition, endorsed by 105 members of parliament from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, decrees that rigid economic sanctions should be promptly enacted against the junta. It also calls attention to Myanmar's failure to reform despite the new ASEAN charter and calls for 'free and inclusive elections', increasing the chance of suspension from the collective. The petition was sent to leaders by the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC), which lobbies for democratic reforms in the former Burma.
Under the new electoral laws, the party would have to expel Suu Kyi if it wanted to participate because she is serving a prison term. Additionally, failure to register for the elections would result in automatic dissolution, bringing about the end of the NLD. Despite this possibility, Suu Kyi has expressed her support towards her party's decision.
While Myanmar has always escaped formal censure from the grouping in the past due to their non-interference policy, some ASEAN members have separately criticised Myanmar's military regime and called for Aung San Suu Kyi's release.
ASEAN MPs Tell Leaders to Consider Expelling Myanmar [AFP, 7 Apr 2010]
ASEAN to Question Myanmar over Election Laws [Reuters, 7 Apr 2010]