the SPDC’s repeated pledges for “free and fair”
elections, the junta’s legal framework for the polls, including
five laws issued in March and Directive 2/2010 issued in June, is
repressive and undemocratic.
The Election Commission Law empowers
the SPDC to handpick the Election Commission, which presides over
all aspects of the electoral process. Led by a former military judge,
it is authorized to cancel elections in some areas.
The Political Parties Registration
Law effectively bans political prisoners (leaders of NLD, ethnic
nationality parties and 88-Generation Students) from membership
of political parties.
The Assembly laws reiterate the
ban on political prisoners, members of religious orders, and civil
servants from standing for election, either as members of political
parties or as independent candidates. The laws also ban members
of religious orders and those serving prison sentences from voting.
Directive 2/2010 imposes severe
restrictions on political parties’ activities, including gatherings
held at their own headquarters or branches.