As Myanmar prepares to vote, the focus has been on the prospect of a historic shift in power. But, whoever wins will face major challenges to raise living standards, and meet popular expectations.
In the bustling heart of Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon, people’s thoughts and conversations revolve around Sunday’s historic elections.
The military-backed ruling party, USDP, is reminding voters of the reforms it has enacted in recent years to open up the economy, increase press freedom and allow these elections to take place.
And the party says voters should give it another five-year mandate to complete the job it has started.
Most people in Myanmar still live in poverty, with the average income only about one-quarter that of neighboring Thailand. Infrastructure is decrepit, public transport rudimentary. And the average person here only completes four years of schooling.
The NLD acknowledges it is banking on Suu Kyi’s personal popularity to carry it to victory, and says voters main concern should not be on the details of policy, but just making sure the NLD can form the next government.
But whoever comes to power will have to quickly build on and expand those reforms if Myanmar, and its children, are ever to reach their potential.
CCTV’s Rian Maelzer reports.