U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has congratulated the people of Myanmar for participating in the election process a first for many of them.

Ms. Clinton said the country's leaders should move ahead with transparency and other reforms. She also said it was too early to know what lay ahead, despite progress in recent months. She told a news conference in Turkey on Sunday she held hope for the people of Myanmar.

EU observers

AFP reports from Yangon:

Myanmar's by-elections showed “very encouraging” signs, a European Union official invited to observe the polls told AFP on Sunday.

“In the maybe 12 or 14 polling stations that my colleague and myself visited today, the signs were very encouraging,” said Malgorzata Wasilewska.

“However that's definitely not enough to assume that it is indicative of how the process was conducted in other parts of the country and certainly not enough to talk about credibility of elections,” she said after visiting polling stations in Yangon and the surrounding area.

Ms. Wasilewska stressed the EU did not consider it to be a proper election observer mission as they arrived only a few days ago and would usually spend three months on such tasks.

She said they hoped this was “only the beginning” as far as the election process was concerned, adding they had seen things that could be improved but nothing massive.

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