Over 6 million eligible voters across Myanmar went to polls on April 1 for the country’s parliamentary by-elections at 8,000 poll stations in 45 constituencies.

As many 157 candidates, representing 17 political parties, are standing for the by-elections for 45 vacant seats in the parliament, including 37 at the lower house, six at the upper house and two for the regional or state level.

In efforts to implement its commitment to fair, free and transparent elections, the Myanmar Government invited international observers to monitor the process.

Those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its dialogue partners, the US, Canada, the European Union and the United Nations have arrived to watch the event. The by-elections are significant as they will reflect the people’s assessment of and confidence in the parties. The event is considered as an “examination” of Myanmar’s democratic reform and open door policy.

A Vietnamese mission, including two diplomats and three reporters, was present at some poll stations in six constituencies in Yangon.

Tran Phuoc Anh, Counsellor and Deputy Head of the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar, said the Myanmar Government have made careful and cautious preparations for its reform and renewal process by a seven-step democratic roadmap from compiling constitution, holding a referendum for the constitution to establishing the new parliament and government.

Vote counting is scheduled to take place right after 6pm (local time) on the same day and a preliminary result is expected to be released at the end of the same day or on April 2./.