Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to face new charges of electoral fraud

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends Invest Myanmar in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

November 16, 2021

(Reuters) – Myanmar’s military authorities are adding new electoral fraud charges to ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her administration for abuse of power, according to a state media announcement on Tuesday.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi was arrested in an early morning raid before the Feb. 1 coup that overthrew her elected government. She so far is facing 11 criminal cases, including two of corruption and one of violating the Official Secrets Act.

Her charges, which she has denied, carry a total maximum of more than 100 years’ prison sentence.

Her trials are ongoing behind closed doors and defence lawyers, the only source of information on the proceedings, are under gag orders imposed by the authorities.

An announcement in state media said Suu Kyi was one of 16 people, many of those former election commissioners, prosecuted for being involved in “electoral processes, electoral fraud and lawless actions” some of which involved threatening regional election officials.

Suu Kyi led a non-violent struggle against dictatorship in the last two decades of the military’s 1962-2011.

The military said it acted because Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party’s (NLD) victory was based on a manipulated vote, though the electoral commission at that time had rejected its complaints.

The NLD says it won fairly.

(Editing by Kay Johnson and Martin Petty)

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