Yangon: Myanmar's state-controlled media
warned pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's disbanded party
that criticism of controversial upcoming elections could lead to long jail terms.
A commentary in the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said
criticising the Election Commission for having dissolved the
party was "an irresponsible act and could cause
misunderstanding among the public."
The commission is overseeing Nov 7 general elections, the
first in the military-ruled country in 20 years.
Under new election laws, any party that does not register
for the balloting is automatically dissolved. The laws also
prohibit Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, from running
or even remaining a member of her own party.
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has decided to
boycott the elections, calling them undemocratic and unfair.
The NLD overwhelmingly won the last elections in 1990,
but the military refused to relinquish power.
The commentary did not specifically name the NLD, but
said "an old party that has been dissolved automatically in
according with the existing law is inciting the people to
boycott the elections."
It warned that a 1996 law provides for five to 20 years
in prison for anyone who makes statements that "undermine the
stability of the state, community peace and tranquility and
prevalence of law and order."
First Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 21:02