The party of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi complained Monday it was being blocked from campaigning in April's critical elections.
The National League for Democracy (NLD), which boycotted the 2010 election, said several attempts to hold campaign rallies had been blocked and accused the country's biggest party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), of making promises that were tantamount to vote-buying.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, who was released in 2010 after 15 years under house arrest, is running for one of the 48 parliamentary seats in April's elections.
There are increasing restrictions on the election campaign of the NLD, posing threats to the upcoming by-election, making it difficult to be free and fair, Nyan Win, a top NLD official and its campaign manager, told Reuters at a news conference.
Suu Kyi's candidacy is seen in some quarters as a partial endorsement of the fledgling democratic system now in place in Myanmar (Burma) after decades of authoritarian military rule.
According to Win, the NLD has been prevented from using three athletic fields for rallies, including one in the town of Hlegu, north of Yangon (Rangoon).
The election commission moved to allow the rally to take place, but that intervention was short-lived, Nyan Win said.
To our surprise, on February 15, a directive was issued banning campaigns on sports grounds. These incidents really affect the campaign activities of the NLD, he added, according to Reuters.
The NLD is competing with the USDP, which has significant spending power and enjoys close connections to the former military junta.
Since the elections of 2010, the former ruling military junta was replaced with a civilian government backed by the armed forces.
The international community is keeping a close eye on elections in the country, with a fair contest demanded by Western countries currently reviewing their policies on sanctions in response to democratic reforms by the new civilian government.