Voting is underway in Myanmar in what is the country’s first elections in two decades. The ruling military leadership has insisted the vote marks the start of a transition to democracy from dictatorship.
Security surrounding the ballot, however, has been tight and international observers have denounced the poll as a sham with proxy parties for the junta going largely unchallenged.
It means Western sanctions are almost certain to stay in place in the former British colony also known as Burma.
The last time elections were held in 1990 the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, swept to victory. That result was ignored by the country’s generals.
This time the she has been barred from standing and remains under house arrest.
The main opposition claims her detention, together with overly complex rules, have forced it to boycott the poll.