WASHINGTON (AFP): The United States on Wednesday (March 29) condemned Myanmar's junta for dissolving the party of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi (pic) and warned that the move would bring more instability.
Myanmar's junta-stacked election commission on Tuesday announced that the National League for Democracy would be dissolved for failing to re-register under a military-drafted electoral law.
The move comes as the junta prepares to hold elections that opponents believe would only aim to cement the power of the military, which toppled Suu Kyi's elected government in February 2021.
"We strongly condemn the Burma military regime's decision to abolish 40 political parties, including the National League for Democracy," State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said, using Myanmar's former name.
"Any election without the participation of all stakeholders in Burma would not be and cannot be considered free or fair and, given the widespread opposition to military rule, the regime's unilateral push towards elections likely will escalate instability," he said.
Suu Kyi cofounded the NLD in 1988, and won a landslide victory in 1990 elections that were subsequently annulled by the then-junta.
The United States has vowed to keep up pressure on Myanmar. In its latest move last week, the Treasury Department warned of the risk of US sanctions on anyone who provides jet fuel to the junta.
But the United States has stopped short of taking action against Myanmar's state-owned oil and gas company, with neighboring Thailand, a close US ally, worried about the move's impact.