Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Burmese military junta has promulgated a law that excludes Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the democratic opposition, from the upcoming elections. The law prevents a candidate who has suffered a criminal conviction from running for election. It is the second time that the military leadership promulgated a directive tailored for the Nobel Peace Prize Winner: In the past the "Madam" was excluded from public office for a clause in the Constitution, which prohibits assignments to people with foreign spouses.
Aung San Su Kyi has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest with various accusations as an excuse to exclude her from driving the country after the 1990 election won by a large majority by the National League for Democracy (NLD). The military junta on 8 March this year launched the publication of the Political Parties Registration Law, the rules that regulate participation in the forthcoming general elections scheduled in 2010, although no date has so far been fixed.
The norm published today seems specifically designed to exclude the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, under house arrest, from voting. Now her party faces a tough choice: to expel their leader and participate in the elections, or reject the junta blackmail and not take part in the vote.
Nyan Win, NLD spokesperson, confirms that "we must expel the Lady" and said he was "extremely surprised" by the Regulation: "I never thought it would be so hard." The rule excludes anyone who has been convicted in court, members of religious orders and public officials’ from being members of political parties. The sides have 60 days – as of 8 March - to register for the election committee, whose appointment is in the hands of the military junta.
The directive issued by the military is a real slap in the face to U.S., EU and ASEAN - the association that brings together the countries of Southeast Asia – who were depending on “inclusive" elections that ensured the participation of all citizens. Critics believe the vote will only serve to strengthen the power in the hands of the leadership of government.