YANGON, Myanmar, May 7 (UPI) -- The National League for Democracy, the major opposition party in Myanmar, dissolved itself Friday in an apparent protest against upcoming elections.
The party, whose best-known member is its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, refused to register to run candidates, The New York Times reported. It has criticized the elections as a sham.
In 1990, two years after it was formed, the party won an overwhelming majority but was then barred from office by the military junta that rules the country formerly known as Burma.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has spent most of the intervening time under house arrest.
"We are losing a battle, but losing a battle is not losing a war," said U Nyan Win, a party spokesman and Suu Kyi's lawyer. "We have not yet decided anything, but we are thinking of many social works we can do for the Burmese people."
Josef Silverstein, a retired Rutgers University expert on Myanmar, told the Times he does not believe the party is shutting down.
"I think they're guessing that if they just go about their business without making a lot of noise or any kind of public demonstration, the government will allow them," he said.