Myanmar’s junta has charged Aung San Suu Kyi with influencing election officials during 2020 polls, a source said on Monday, a year after it staged a coup alleging massive voter fraud.
Suu Kyi, 76, has been detained since the February 1 coup last year that triggered mass protests and a bloody crackdown on dissent with nearly 1,500 civilians killed, according to a local monitoring 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 more than 100 years in prison.
She will face a further trial on charges of influencing the country’s election commission during the 2020 polls that saw her party defeat a military-aligned rival, a source with knowledge of the case said.
The case will be wrapped up within six months, the source added.
Former president and stalwart of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party Win Myint will face the same charge, the source said.
Several senior members of the national electoral commission have also been arrested since the coup, accused of masterminding the NLD’s landslide victory.
The junta cancelled the results of the 2020 election in July last year, saying it had found some 11.3 million instances of fraud.
Independent monitors said the polls were largely free and fair.
The junta has promised to hold another election by August 2023 if the country — currently riven by fighting between the military and anti-coup fighters — 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 law.
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 rules.
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