After much deliberation, Myanmar's largest opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) has decided not to register for this year's election, meaning the party of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will not be allowed the chance of any role in the military-led political process. This painful decision was made despite the compulsory dissolution of parties who fail to register for the polls, according to the new election laws released earlier this month by the junta.
Suu Kyi, who has spent most of the last 2 decades in detention, stated last week that she would "never accept" her party registering as the altered laws are "unjust". Myanmar's election legislation negates the result of the 1990 election the NLD won by a landslide, a fact which was never recognised by the government. If the party planned to register it would have been forced to recognise that decision, a move unacceptable for a party working towards free democracy. It is likely a new party will be formed by some of the members.
The election is part of the junta's long-announced 'roadmap to democracy', which critics deride as a sham designed to cement the power of the military, which has ruled Myanmar since 1962. No firm date has been set for the polls, but they are expected to be held in November.
Main Opposition to Boycott Myanmar Elections [The New York Times, 29 Mar 2010]
Suu Kyi's Party to Boycott Polls [The Straits Times, 30 Mar 2010]
Suu Kyi's Opposition Party to Boycott Myanmar Elections [ChannelNewsAsia, 29 Mar 2010]