Unclear when Myanmar will hold next election

Wednesday marks the third anniversary of the general election in Myanmar that triggered a coup by the ruling military. The junta says it will hold a "fair election," so that power can be transferred to a civilian government. But it is unclear when an election will take place, as the military and pro-democracy forces are still fighting.

The National League for Democracy, or NLD, won the 2020 national election in a landslide. The party was led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

But the coup has plunged the country into turmoil. The junta seized power, after it claimed that there were irregularities in the 2020 contest. Pro-democracy forces and ethnic minority groups have been fighting against the junta since then.

A representative of a human rights group says it will be difficult for Myanmar to hold a general election as long as the battles continue. Ko Bo Kyi works for the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. He said that people do not trust the military because the results of the 2020 election were ignored.

The junta originally said it would hold a general election by August 2023. But it extended the state of emergency by six months again in August. The emergency declaration must be lifted in order for an election to be held. The country's state-run media quoted the junta leader as saying that it is too early to hold elections.

The junta dissolved the NLD and some other parties in March. The move is believed to be aimed at enabling the military to prolong its grip on power.