Myanmar junta dissolves ex-ruling party as election deadline passes

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the opening session of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

(Reuters) - The ousted ruling party of Myanmar's former leader Aung San Suu Kyi was among 40 political parties dissolved on Tuesday, after they failed to meet a registration deadline for an election set to perpetuate the military's political dominance.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) is among dozens of parties that held parliamentary seats in the past decade that were severely weakened by the military's 2021 coup and crackdown on its opponents.

Many of the parties are unable or unwilling to contest the election, which has widely been dismissed by critics as a sham.

In a live broadcast late on Tuesday, state-run Myawaddy TV said 63 parties had registered for the election at local or national level and named 40 parties that were automatically disbanded for failure to sign up.

The polls, for which no date has been announced, are almost certain to be swept by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a military proxy that was trounced by the NLD in the 2015 election and in a 2020 vote that the generals eventually voided, citing unaddressed irregularities.

The hugely popular Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is among scores of NLD officials currently in prison. She has been found guilty of multiple counts of corruption, a breach of a state secrets law and incitement, among other crimes.

The NLD has previously declared the polls as legitimate and refused to register.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Alison Williams)

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