Washington, March 11 (DPA) The US will not recognise the outcome of Myanmar's elections scheduled for later this year because of new laws that ban political prisoners and the country's leading democratic activist from participating, the US State Department said Wednesday.
The military junta that runs Myanmar, published a law on Wednesday that stated 2,000 imprisoned dissidents cannot participate, effectively sidelining jailed activist Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy.
"We made clear that, given the tenor of the election laws that they've put forward, there's no hope that this election will be credible," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, adding the laws make the election a "mockery of the democratic process."
The regime has yet to announce a date for the election, the last of which took place 20 years ago before the military junta seized power and began rounding up democratic activists. Suu Kyi has been in prison or under house arrest for years.
The US has applied sanctions to Myanmar to keep pressure on the regime for democratic reforms, and the Obama administration had reached out to Myanmar hoping to encourage change. But those efforts do not appear to be working.
"Our engagement with Burma will have to continue until we can make clear that the results thus far are not what we had expected and that they're going to have to do better," Crowley said.