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Politics

Small parties harbor big hopes

YANGON -- Myanmar's Nov. 8 election is likely to be dominated by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party and the opposition National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi. But about 90 other parties are also vying to win seats in the country's first free and fair election in a quarter century.

A canvasser for the USDP distributes leaflets to residents in downtown Yangon. (Photo by Simon Roughneen)

     Confronted with the wealth, reach and popularity of the big two, this array of smaller parties faces a struggle to win seats -- a challenge compounded by Myanmar's first-past-the-post electoral system, a legacy of colonial rule.

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