Junta restricts political parties from meeting foreigners


THE ruling junta has moved to restrict political parties from meeting foreigners or international organisations ahead of an election expected next year.

The South-East Asian nation has been plunged into turmoil and its economy is in tatters since a February 2021 coup which ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government.

The military alleged widespread voter fraud during the November 2020 polls which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won in a landslide, although international observers said the election was largely free and fair.

The junta-stacked Union Election Commission said the country’s 92 registered political parties would have to ask for permission if they wished to meet foreign organisations or individuals.

“Political parties need to respect the law. If they fail to do so their party’s registration will be dissolved,” the commission said.

It also accused foreign embassies and international non-governmental organisations of interfering in the 2020 polls resulting in fraud.

Suu Kyi has been detained since the coup and faces a raft of charges that could see her jailed for more than 150 years. — AFP

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