Myanmar's military government on Wednesday ramped up its suppression of opponents by dissolving the political party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other parties over their failure to register for its planned but still unscheduled polls.
The move paves the way for a general election with no genuine opposition that would extend the military's grip on power since its February 2021 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government led by Suu Kyi.
Her National League for Democracy was among the 40 political parties that were dissolved, according to an announcement Tuesday by the country's election commission carried by a state-run newspaper.
The dissolutions come amid the continuing political turmoil in the Southeast Asian country, where the junta has used brute force against anti-coup protestors.
Suu Kyi has been detained along with other prominent NLD members since the coup and now faces a total of 33 years behind bars on various charges, including corruption. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and icon of opposition to military rule has denied any wrongdoing.
With the NLD and other opposition parties failing to register by the Tuesday deadline, the dissolutions took effect Wednesday, The Global New Light of Myanmar reported. It also said more than 50 parties have registered, many of them pro-junta and anti-Suu Kyi.
After the junta seized power, it announced a yearlong state of emergency and brutally cracked down on anti-coup protests. In February this year, it extended the state of emergency by six months until August and postponed indefinitely a general election scheduled by that month.
The NLD has slammed the junta-promised election as neither free nor fair and announced it would not register.
Brussels-based International Group Crisis think tank issued a report Tuesday saying that "with most of the country engulfed in civil war, and most citizens opposed to the exercise, no regime-run vote can be credible."
The NLD, founded in 1988, first came to power in 2016 after the 2015 general election. It retained its control following its landslide victory in the November 2020 polls but the junta later nullified the results, claiming widespread voter fraud.