Myanmar’s junta has dissolved Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party for failing to re-register under a new military-drafted electoral law. The military had claimed widespread fraud in the 2020 elections won by the NLD, which led to the coup. Out of 90 parties, only 50 applied to re-register, and the rest will be dissolved. The rules stipulate that parties must mobilize at least 100,000 members within 90 days and open offices in at least half of the country’s townships within 180 days. The NLD has been the torchbearer of democratic aspirations in Myanmar, and its leadership has been decimated in the junta’s violent crackdown.
Myanmar’s junta chief vowed to continue the crackdown on opponents and insisted the military would hold elections, despite admitting it did not control enough territory to allow a vote. The putsch sparked renewed fighting with ethnic rebels and birthed dozens of anti-junta “People’s Defence Forces” (PDFs), with swathes of the country now ravaged by fighting and the economy in tatters. More than 3,100 people have been killed in the military’s crackdown on dissent since the coup, according to a local monitoring group.
Myanmar’s junta has dismissed the UN’s human rights chief’s claims that the military may have committed war crimes as “irrelevant,” while acknowledging the UN’s report recognized the violence committed by some anti-coup groups. The military continues to rely on air power and artillery to fight the opposition, with over 300 air strikes in the past year, according to the UN. Over 3,000 people have been killed in the military’s crackdown on dissent, and diplomatic efforts have made little headway.