January 29th, 2011

MYANMAR/BURMA — In affirmation of who remains in power in Myanmar, the nation’s highest court ruled against Aung San Suu Kyi National League for Democracy in its bid to regain legal standing following last year’s faux elections.

From the BBC:

The court ruled the [National League for Democracy] would remain an unlawful association because it refused to register for the recent election.

A lawyer for the NLD said the party could mount no further legal challenge.

The court’s decision leaves Aung San Suu Kyi and her party outside formal politics in Burma. A new parliament, with substantial military presence, convenes for the first time next week.

The NLD won a resounding victory in Burma’s last elections in 1990, but was kept from power by the military junta.

The party refused to re-register in order to take part in November’s election, complaining that the conditions set by the junta were unfair and undemocratic.

Military-backed parties won by far the largest number of seats.

The ruling generals said the election marked a transition to democracy but opposition groups and Western nations have condemned the elections a sham.
Popular support

The Supreme Court ruled that the NLD’s case had no legal basis, said Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Nyan Win.

He told the BBC that only the chief justice could now change the ruling and that there was nothing else the NLD could do.

But he said: “Our existence and our legality does not change because of this court decision. Our party still exists. As Aung San Suu Kyi said, what really matters is the support of the people.”

Another senior lawyer for the NLD said he had fully expected to lose the case. The bid to reinstate the party had already been dismissed four times by lower courts.

He said that everyone knew the courts were not independent and that all such trials were a one-way street to defeat.

Do what you can to make this a good morning, Myanmar.

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