Suu Kyi’s date with destiny arrives as Myanmar votes

YANGON – Myanmar goes to the polls Sunday in an historic election that could thrust Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party into power and pull the country away from the grip of the military.

The Southeast Asian nation was ruled for five decades by a brutal junta that smothered opponents with violence, jail and political sleight of hand.

But in 2011 the junta suddenly handed power to a semi-civilian government led by former generals.

Sweeping reforms since have loosened the straitjacketed economy and brought many freedoms to an isolated, wearied people — including the release of most political prisoners.

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