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September 13, 2010

Burmese Officials Dissolve Main Opposition Party

Burma's main opposition party has been officially dissolved for failing to register on time to compete in the country's general election in November. State television is reporting that election officials on Tuesday abolished the National League for Democracy, led by detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Four other political parties were dissolved for also failing to enter candidates for the election.  There are now 37 parties registered to compete in the poll.

The National League for Democracy was effectively dissolved earlier this year after refusing to register for elections that it says are unfair.

The November 7 vote will elect 498 people to a national parliament, and another 664 will be spread among 14 regional legislatures.

Opposition parties say they have not been able to enter as many candidates as they want because of restrictive election laws and high registration fees.

Pro-democracy critics of the Burmese regime say the election is a sham, and that the military shows little sign of giving up control.  

Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest until at least after the election, has urged her supporters to monitor the election and to report irregularities.

The National League for Democracy won Burma's 1990 election by a large margin.  But Aung San Suu Kyi was never allowed to take power by the junta, which has controlled Burma since 1962.