Myanmar has given its strongest indication yet that the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi could be released from house arrest within the coming weeks.
The Nobel peace prize winner has spent 15 of the last 21 years in detention.
But Asian leaders and diplomats in Vietnam for a regional summit say Myanmar’s foreign minister revealed at a dinner that the pro-democracy campaigner might be freed after the elections on November 7th.
They said Nyan Win did not specify an exact date.
The elections are the first in Myanmar since 1990, when Suu Kyi’s now dissolved party emerged as landslide winners. At the time the military regime ignored the results and continued ruling.
This November’s vote is widely seen outside Myanmar as a farce orchestrated by the army to extend its rule through a puppet civilian party. Aung San Suu Kyi is banned from taking part.