Breaking News Emails
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has cast her ballot in Myanmar's elections.
Suu Kyi voted Sunday in a polling station near her home in Yangon.
She is running for a seat she has held in the lower house of Parliament, which she's expected to win easily. Her opposition party, the National League for Democracy, is also expected to win in a race against the ruling Union Solidarity Development Party, made up largely of former junta members.
Alexander Lambsdorff, head of the European Union's chief observer at the Myanmar elections, was monitoring voting at the school where Suu Kyi cast her ballot and said the historic vote seemed to be going well.
"I can say at this time, on the morning of election day, that so far what we are observing is a procedure that looks as if it's rather reliable." He added that, "it's not free of flaws or shortcomings, but we did not expect that."
Suu Kyi's party won just over 80 percent of parliamentary seats in the 1990 general election, even though she and her top deputy were under house arrest.
A shocked army refused to seat the winning lawmakers, with the excuse that a new constitution first had to be implemented — a task that ended up taking 18 years to accomplish.
Suu Kyi was again under house arrest for the next general election in 2010, which the NLD boycotted because it considered election laws unfair.
Still, the vote ended the junta era — which had begun in 1962 — and ultimately installed President Thein Sein, a former general who began instituting political and economic reforms to end Myanmar's isolation from much of the world and jumpstart its moribund economy.
Sunday's elections are seen as a test whether the military's grip on power will loosen, allowing the country to transition toward greater democracy.
Myanmar was ruled by a junta for 50 years until 2011, and then for five years by a quasi-civilian government comprising former generals.