Myanmar’s military rulers has charged Aung San Suu Kyi with influencing election officials during 2020 polls, a year after it staged a coup alleging accusing of massive voter fraud, according to media reports.
Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the February 1 coup last year that triggered mass agitation and a bloody crackdown on dissent that left around 1,500 civilians dead, according to a local rights watch group.
The Nobel laureate is facing a raft of charges — including violating the country’s official secrets laws — and if convicted of all of them could face sentences tallying some 100 years in prison.
She will face a further trial on charges of influencing the country’s election commission during the 2020 polls that witnessed her party defeat a military-aligned rival, said knowledgeable sources.
The case will be wrapped up within six months, according to the source. Former president and veteran leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party Win Myint will also face the same charge.
Several senior members of the national electoral commission have also been arrested since the coup, accused of masterminding the NLD’s sweeping victory.
Myanmar’s junta dismissed the results of the 2020 election in July last year, claiming it had found some 11.3 million instances of fraud. However, independent monitors maintain that the polls were held in a free and fair manner.
The junta has promised to hold another election by August 2023 if the country — currently witnessing fighting between the military and anti-coup agitators — is restored.
Ahead of the Tuesday anniversary of the putsch, the junta has warned that noisy protests or sharing “propaganda” against the military could be charged with high treason or under the anti-terrorism Act.
Suu Kyi has already been sentenced to six years in jail for illegally importing and owning walkie talkies, incitement against the military and breaking Covid-19 regulations.