Myanmar has invited international observers, including from the European Union and the United States, to monitor the by-elections to be held next month, an official has said.
Observers from the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] have also been invited for the April 1 polls, a Myanmar government official said on Wednesday.
The ASEAN monitors have been asked to arrive in the commercial capital, Yangon, on March 28, just four days before the election, which will be held in 48 constituencies.
"It will be up to the countries whether they send people from overseas or inside Myanmar," he told AFP news agency, without specifying how many monitors would be allowed.
"We welcome the invitation of observers,", spokesman for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said. "They should be allowed to watch and assess freely."
The vote, which will see Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi stand for a seat in parliament for the first time, comes a year after a quasi-civilian government took power following the end of decades of outright military rule.
A 2010 election in Myanmar which swept the army's political allies to power was marred by widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation.
Foreign election observers and international media were not allowed into the country for that vote, which was denounced by Suu Kyi's opposition party and Western powers as a sham.
Since then the regime has surprised observers with reforms including welcoming the opposition back into mainstream politics, signing ceasefire deals with ethnic minority rebels and releasing hundreds of political prisoners.