• Myanmar's government approved the National League for Democracy to run in upcoming by-elections that will return Aung San Suu Kyi's party to mainstream politics after two decades.

  • Western governments have cautiously supported the reforms Myanmar's new government has made since general elections in late 2010, while keeping in place economic sanctions and continuing to urge further reforms.
  • Most of the 48 Parliament seats being contested in the April 1 by-election were vacated by MPs who became Cabinet ministers after the first parliamentary session last January.

  • The military is guaranteed 110 seats in the 440-seat lower house, and 56 seats in the 224-seat upper house, and the pro-military party now occupies 80 percent of the remaining 498 elected seats, so the 48 seats up for grabs, even if the NLD wins them all, will not change the balance of power.