Asia

Myanmar election: Last day of campaigning

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Media captionMyanmar's elections explained

Candidates in Myanmar have entered their final day of campaigning ahead of Sunday's general election.

The elections will be Myanmar's first openly contested polls in 25 years, following decades of military rule.

The ruling Union Solidarity Development Party, which has been in power since 2011, is holding a rally in Yangon.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) is expected to make major gains on Sunday, though she is barred from the presidency.

But the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Yangon says there are no reliable opinion polls in the country, also known as Burma, so no-one really knows how the vote is going to play out.


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On Friday, campaign signs and stickers were being taken down ahead of a day of "silence" in the campaign, from midnight until polls open on Sunday.

Former Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ms Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency, even if the NLD wins, because of the constitution which disqualifies anyone with foreign offspring.

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Media captionAung San Suu Kyi: "I'll run the government and we'll have a president who will work in accordance with the policies of the NLD"

But at a press conference on Thursday, she repeated her insistence that if her party wins she would lead the government anyway and be "above the president".

Ruled by the junta for nearly half a century, Myanmar has seen economic and political reform in recent years.

However, according to the constitution 25% of all parliamentary seats will still be reserved for the military in this election. Therefore, the NLD must take 67% of all contested seats in order to gain a majority.

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Image caption President Thein Sein has led a quasi-civilian government since 2011 in Myanmar

Ms Suu Kyi has already raised concerned about poll fraud and voting irregularities. In the 1990 election, the NLD won a majority, but the results were largely ignored by the generals.

For its part, the government has warned that rapid change could lead to civil unrest.