Rangoon - Burma's military-ruled population started voting Sunday in the country's first election in 20 years, designed to introduce "discipline-flourishing democracy."
An estimated 29 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday's polls, the first since May 27, 1990.
This year's election has raised few expectations for real change in Burma, which has been under military dictatorship since 1962.
Current military supremo Senior General Than Shwe has vowed the polls will usher in a "discipline-flourishing democracy."
The military has stage-managed the run-up to the election in such a way as to assure the victory of its own proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and other establishment-friendly parties such as the National Unity Party (NUP).
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest, due to be released on November 13, and her Natonal Leagu for Democracy (NLD) party have boycotted the election urging heir followers not to vote.
Altogether 37 parties and 82 independents are contesting the race for 1,159 seats in three houses of parliament: upper, lower and regions/states. DPA
Source: The Nation