P. S. Suryanarayana
SINGAPORE: Myanmar's celebrated democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday slammed the military rulers for promulgating “biased electoral laws”.
It was “shameful” that the centrepiece of the junta's sheaf of five poll-related decrees was crafted “against one person,” said Ms. Suu Kyi. She was referring to herself in comments that she conveyed to her political associate and spokesman of her National League for Democracy (NLD) Nyan Win.
The Nobel Peace laureate is serving an 18-month term of house arrest in Yangon. In all, she has so far spent over 14 years in various forms of detention, including some time in prison, in the two decades since her party won a landslide in Myanmar's last general election. However, the military rulers did not transfer power to her. Two of the new “poll laws,” outlining the norms for “national parliamentary elections” at an unspecified time this year, were promulgated on Thursday. Two other decrees, one on the constitution of an election commission and the other relating to the registration of political parties, were published earlier this week. These four documents, all formulated by the junta, cover the entire gamut of Ms. Suu Kyi's political domain.
Mr. Nyan Win told The Hindu over the telephone from Yangon that the new poll norms would disqualify her as a leader and member of the NLD. Under these decrees, no person convicted and sentenced by a court on any matter could be a member of a political party. Also, the parties with such members would attract dissolution.
Ms. Suu Kyi's detention is based on the junta's executive fiat which reduced her court sentence of a three-year rigorous imprisonment. She was found “guilty” of violating the restrictions imposed on her during the previous term of house arrest. And, the appeals against her conviction have failed. The 2008 Constitution has already disqualified Ms. Suu Kyi for high office on the ground that her late husband was a foreigner. This basic statute, under which the junta has now promised polls, was endorsed in a referendum held when Myanmar was still reeling under the impact of Cyclone Nargis.