Detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will refuse to vote in Myanmar's widely criticised election, the first in the military-ruled country in 20 years, her lawyer said Tuesday.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been informed by the authorities that she has the right to cast a ballot on November 7.
"If so, she said she will not vote," her attorney Nyan Win told AFP after visiting Suu Kyi at her lakeside home, where she is under house arrest.
"It is not in accordance with the law," he quoted her as saying.
Serving prisoners have no right to vote under Myanmar's 2008 constitution.
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won the country's last election in 1990 but was never allowed to take power, and the democracy icon has spent most of the past two decades in detention.
Her party has been dissolved by the authorities because it chose to boycott next month's vote, saying the rules were unfair.
"The NLD will not compete so she (Suu Kyi) said she has no party to vote for even if she is allowed to vote. As the NLD is not participating in the election, she will not vote," said Nyan Win.
Suu Kyi's backing of a boycott has led to a split within the opposition between those who support her defiant stance and others who see the vote as the only hope for progress in the autocratic nation.
Officials had initially said that Suu Kyi's name did not appear on the electoral register, but they later backtracked, saying she could vote because she is under house arrest and not in prison.
Serving prisoners are also barred from standing as parliamentary candidates.
The opposition leader's current house arrest term is due to expire just days after the November election, which has been widely condemned by activists and the West as a charade aimed at legitimising military rule with a civilian face.
Suu Kyi herself expects to be released on November 13 "according to the law," Nyan Win said.
"If she is not released it is like a violation of the law," he said.
The lawyer said he expected Myanmar's Supreme Court to agree to hear Suu Kyi's latest appeal against her detention. The court is due to consider the application on October 18, just weeks before her term ends.
Suu Kyi lodged the last-ditch appeal in May. She has already had her appeal rejected twice, most recently by the Supreme Court in February. Court verdicts in the army-ruled country rarely favour opposition activists.
Even if she is released, observers believe she is unlikely to be allowed full freedom to conduct political activities.