Voters in Myanmar will head to polling stations on Nov. 8 to elect members of parliament and of regional assemblies. About three months later, the new parliament will assemble in Naypyitaw, the capital, to elect a president. Will the process be peaceful and orderly, enabling the country to move forward on the path of reform that began in 2011? Or will the aftermath be marked by tension, instability and crises?
These issues are critical to Myanmar, but the country's future is also important for its neighbors, the region and the broader international community. That is why, as the election date nears, the political mercury has been rising and world media attention has focused on the coming vote. In informed circles, a mixture of interest, curiosity and concern is palpable.