March 10, 2010, midnight
Hopes for free and fair elections in Myanmar faded on Wednesday as the military government banned many opposition figures from standing for office. The new Political Parties Registration Law bars candidacy by any convicted citizen, including more than 2,000 political prisoners. They include several members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leader AUNG SAN Suu Kyi, who has spent nearly three-fourths of the last two decades under house arrest. Some NLD memebers say a regulation permitting them to reopen offices is meaningless without AUNG SAN'S participation. Myanmar, also known as Burma, last held democratic elections in 1990. A military government that assumed power in 1988 refused to accept their results.