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Southeast Asia, explained

Myanmar elections watch 2012Enlarge
People in Myanmar peer over a voter list at a polling station in Yangon on April 1, 2012. (YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Via Reuters, here's an on-the-ground take on the ongoing Myanmar elections from a counselor to the European Union's foreign policy chief.

"The day isn't over yet, but perhaps this is the first really authentic election held in this country for some time ...the pace of change has been breathtaking."

Just yesterday, the EU's trade commissioner told Dow Jones that EU sanctions against Myanmar (also known as Burma) could be eliminated later this month.

This is a step beyond what other Western nations imposing sanctions, such as the US, have said. And it strikes a stark contrast in tone from the darker account of the elections cast by the government's rivals, the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Could the EU be the first among major Western powers -- including the US and UK -- to start scrapping sanctions and allow business interests full-on access to Myanmar?

http://www.globalpost.com/globalpost-blogs/southeast-asia/myanmar-burma-elections-monitors

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