Voting has ended in Myanmar’s historic election, the first of its kind in 20 years.
Official results may not be known for a day or two but there is little doubt of the outcome. Two army-backed parties are expected to win easily as they ran virtually unopposed.
The former British colony, also known as Burma, simply ignored the result of its last ballot in 1990.
That contest was overwhelmingly won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. She and other pro-democracy campaigners boycotted this poll as hundreds remain in detention.
The continuing clampdown even drew criticism from US President Barack Obama during his tour of India. He described the contest as “anything but free and fair.”
The military junta has shown no sign that it is about to ease its grip on power but some analysts say the election may be the springboard to future democratic changes.