Myanmar Junta charges Suu Kyi with with fraud during 2020 polls

WION Web Team
Yangon, Myanmar Published: Nov 16, 2021, 12:17 PM(IST)

Aung San Suu Kyi (File Photo) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

76-year-old Suu Kyi has been in jail since the coup and faces a slew of charges, including illegally importing walkie-talkies and sedition

Myanmar's ruling junta has charged ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi with electoral fraud during the 2020 elections, state media reported Tuesday.

Since a military coup in February, the country has been in turmoil with nationwide protests and a deadly crackdown on dissent. 

Also read | Jailed US journalist Danny Fenster pardoned in Myanmar, sent home

76-year-old Suu Kyi has been in jail since the coup and faces a slew of charges, including illegally importing walkie-talkies and sedition. If convicted, she could spend decades in prison.

The latest charges include election fraud and lawless acts, according to Myanmar's state-run newspaper Global New Light. Details on when the court process will commence are not yet available.

The report added that 15 other officials, including former president Win Myint and the chairman of the election commission, face the same charge. 

Compared with the 2015 election, Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) saw its support grow in 2020, beating a military-aligned party.

Also read | US concerned over Myanmar army operations in Chin state, town ablaze

However, the junta has cited fraud as its reason for seizing power and ending Myanmar's democratic period. 

Announcing it had uncovered more than 11 million cases of voter irregularities, it cancelled the polls in July.

Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the Junta, announced fresh elections would take place by August 2023, extending the timeline that the military initially set after it seized power.

Watch | No end in sight to the bloody turmoil in Myanmar

Suu Kyi is already facing trial for violating Coronavirus restrictions during her campaign.

Her legal team has been muzzled from speaking to the media and the junta has barred journalists from attending proceedings at the special court in the militarized capital Naypyidaw.  

The verdict for her trial on breaching COVID-19 regulations is expected in December, and if found guilty, she could face three years in prison. 

Also read | Verdict next month in Covid rules trial of Myanmar's Suu Kyi, reveals source

According to a local monitoring group, more than 10,000 people have been arrested since the coup.

In a statement last week, the UN Security Council expressed its "deep concern" about the unrest in Myanmar and called for an "immediate cessation of violence" as well as efforts to ensure that civilians are not harmed.

Read in App