In an historic moment for the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, the first free election is expected to be won by opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

According to Reuters, Sunday’s vote went smoothly and without major conflict, with some 30 million votes cast. Voters were reportedly upbeat about the country’s transition from a military dictatorship to a quasi-civilian government. The results won’t be formally announced for a few days, but Suu Kyi, the chairperson of the National League for Democracy and a longtime symbol for nonviolent resistance, is leading.

The race has been fraught with controversy about the fairness of a vote, after hundreds of thousands of Muslims were removed from voter rolls before the election even began.

What’s more, the election won’t result in Suu Kyi taking power — at least not yet. She is currently barred from taking the presidency under a constitution written by the military. In 1990, she won a similar election, and spent the next 20 years under house arrest. While the military is expected to remain powerful after the election, Suu Kyi says the newly democratic government she plans to create will mean more power for the new president.

[Image via Getty]

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