Myanmar regime bars major Rakhine party from planned elections

The junta’s election commission accuses the Arakan National Party, which dominated Rakhine State in the last two elections, of having ties to the Arakan Army

The party that won the largest number of seats in Rakhine State in Myanmar’s last two elections will not be allowed to run again next year, the junta-controlled Union Election Commission (UEC) announced on Monday.

The Arakan National Party (ANP), formed in June 2013 from two rival Rakhine nationalist parties, has been denied registration due to its alleged ties to a “terrorist” organisation, the UEC said.

The ruling, based on Section 7 of the Political Parties Registration Law, which prohibits parties from communicating directly or indirectly with armed organisations that oppose the state, did not specify who the ANP is accused of being associated with.

Khaing Pyi Soe, the party’s general secretary, said that the regime likely suspects that it is involved with the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed group that has been waging a major offensive in the state since late last year.

“They probably. . .

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