Despite having a woman leader, women are largely excluded from key positions of influence and leadership in Myanmar — a situation that helped the country's military succeed in its recent coup.
After arresting Aung San Suu Kyi once again, the army is clearly not ready to relinquish control.
It is difficult to see how the military will benefit from another coup, since it already enjoyed immense political and economic influence under the previous power-sharing agreement.
The constitutional change needed to further democratise Myanmar is impossible without the military’s consent, so achieving major political transformation through the election alone seems unlikely.
In a country with 135 ethnic minorities, democratic elections have little meaning if the stateless, persecuted Rohingya people continue to be ethnically cleansed.
For better or for worse, various countries around the world charted a new course last year. What lies ahead for 2016?
We recently undertook extensive fieldwork in Myanmar to find out what could help resolve the underlying issues that drive the conflict between the Muslim Rohingya and the majority Buddhist Rakhine.
Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD has won Myanmar's elections in a landslide, but must lead the transition to democratic rule carrying the hopes of tens of millions of voters who expect life to be transformed.
With the opposition party on course to win a historic election, it's time to get serious on some difficult questions.
Myanmar is holding elections, but like the many other authoritarian regimes that do so, it isn't for democratic reasons and regime change remains highly unlikely.