Elections in Burma are taking place and it appears that Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy is going to win by a landslide with the ruling Union Solidarity & Development Party conceding defeat.
But I must place emphasis on the word appears. After all, the NLD won the last multi-party election in 1990 convincingly and the military junta refused to recognize the results. Dictatorships are by their very nature arbitrary and capricious. What is to prevent the junta from doing the same this time and placing Suu Kyi back under house arrest? Who would stop them?
It is true that Thein Sein, the current military ruler, is light years ahead of his predecessor, Than Shwe especially where it concerns his relations with Suu Kyi. General Shwe forbade the mention of Suu Kyi's name. As long as he remained in power this election would have been inconceivable.