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Preparing for elections in Myanmar

Reuters

A child with stickers and a party flag of National League for Democracy (NLD) on his face at the election campaign of NLD party in Yangon March 28, 2012.

Reuters

A supporter holds up a portrait of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during an election campaign of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in Yangon March 28, 2012. Myanmar's parliamentary election is scheduled for Sunday.

 Reuters reports: Western countries desperately want Myanmar's by-elections on Sunday to go smoothly - and give opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi a seat in parliament - so they can start to lift sanctions and let their companies invest in the once-isolated state.

Myanmar's civilian rulers have astonished with a reform drive since taking office a year ago, freeing hundreds of political prisoners jailed by the former junta, holding peace talks with ethnic militias and opening up the economy.

Western companies are lining up to get into the country, sandwiched between China and India and offering huge potential in energy, financial services, telecoms and tourism.

Aung San Suu Kyi cancelled her remaining campaign events on Sunday citing illness.