Former leader Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of election fraud on Friday and sentenced to three years in prison with hard labor. This is in addition to the 17 years she has already served in prison for various charges tried by the military regime.
This recent conviction might have far-reaching political implications for Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party, since it lends credence to the government’s stated threats to dissolve it in advance of the fresh election the military has promised for 2023.
Despite the overwhelming success of Suu Kyi’s party in the general election of 2020, she was denied a second five-year term in government when the military took control in February of the following year. The military says it took action because of allegations of massive electoral fraud, but monitors found no serious problems. Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the man responsible for the coup and the current leader of Myanmar, has been accused by his detractors of acting out of revenge for the vote’s rejection of his own political ambitions.
Bangkok-based non-partisan poll watch group Asian Network for Free Elections reported no instances of election fraud on Friday.