Democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi looked set to make history in Myanmar elections on Sunday, but complaints of ballot-tampering cast fresh doubt on the fairness of the parliamentary vote.
Many supporters waited for hours in searing heat to glimpse the 66-year-old Nobel laureate, who is running for office for the first time in the by-elections, after being locked up by the junta for most of the past 22 years.
The 45 seats at stake are not enough to threaten the ruling party’s majority, but a seat in parliament would give the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader a chance to shape legislation for the first time.
Observers believe Myanmar’s new quasi-civilian government wants Suu Kyi to win a place in parliament to burnish its reform credentials and smooth the way for an easing of Western sanctions.
The polls were however marred somewhat by allegations of ballot-paper irregularities, notably that wax had been put over the check box for the NLD that could be rubbed off later to cancel the vote.