Timeline of major political events in Myanmar

As Myanmar announces November 8 as the date for a historic general election, set to be the first contested by Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition in a quarter of a century, here is a chronology of key recent political events in the nation:


November 7: Myanmar's junta holds its first elections for 20 years in polls boycotted by Suu Kyi's party and denounced as a sham by the West. A party backed by the army and dominated by retired generals wins an overwhelming majority.

November 13: Suu Kyi is released from seven straight years of house arrest.


January 31: Parliament meets for the first time, with a quarter of the seats reserved for the army.

March 30: Former general Thein Sein becomes president as the junta is dissolved and Senior General Than Shwe, in power since 1992, retires.

August 19: Suu Kyi and Thein Sein hold landmark talks in the capital Naypyidaw.

October 12: Around 200 political prisoners are released as part of a mass amnesty.

November 19: Peace talks begin between the government and armed ethnic minority rebels.

November 30: Hillary Clinton visits Myanmar, the first trip by a US secretary of state to the nation for more than 50 years.


January 5: Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party receives formal approval to contest April 1 by-elections.

April 1: Suu Kyi wins her first bid for a seat in parliament, hailing it as a "victory of the people" as her party seizes 43 of the 44 seats it contested. Two other party MPs later defected to the NLD, bringing their total number in parliament to 45.

April 13: Suu Kyi and British Prime Minister David Cameron issue a joint call for the suspension of sanctions, with the US, EU, Norway and Australia among those to later announce easing of restrictions.

May 2: Suu Kyi sworn in as a member of parliament in Naypyidaw.

June: Violent unrest sweeps across Rakhine state between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. Religious tensions have surged in the country since then, leaving more than 200 people dead and 140,000 in displacement camps.

November 19: Barack Obama arrives in Myanmar for the first visit by a serving US president in a trip aimed at encouraging reforms.


May 21: Thein Sein arrives in Washington for talks with Obama, the first Myanmar leader to visit the White House in nearly half a century.


January: Myanmar begins its first international political role in decades, taking the year-long chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

August 6: The NLD says around five million people have signed its petition calling for the removal of the military's effective veto on changes to the country's constitution. The junta-era charter bars Suu Kyi from becoming president, as it blocks anyone whose spouse or children are overseas citizens from leading the country. Her sons are British.

November 12: Obama makes his second visit to Myanmar, urges "free, fair and inclusive" elections.


March 10: Police arrest scores of protesters calling for education reform in a violent crackdown on their rally, raising fears of a return to junta-era tactics. A trial of the activists is ongoing.

March 30: Myanmar agrees on a draft national ceasefire deal with armed rebel groups which is later described by the UN as a "historic" achievement. The peace process has since showed signs of serious foundering.

June 10: Suu Kyi arrives in China for a debut visit.

June 25: Parliament votes against changing the military's effective veto on changes to the constitution.

July 8: Myanmar announces the date for a historic general election to be held on November 8. – Rappler.com