Le (s)elezioni birmane.
Although Burma's military regime has announced no election law nor declared the date of the poll it plans to hold in 2010, preparations appear to have begun in Naypyidaw. Informed sources suggest that potential candidates for president, vice-president, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and defence minister have been chosen.
The current list may yet be modified before the election and some potential candidates on the list could be removed. All depends on the regime's leader Senior General Than Shwe, who still calls the shots.
Gen Than Shwe has reportedly already endorsed the junta's No.3 man, Gen Thura Shwe Mann, joint chief-of-staff in the armed forces, to become president of post-election Burma.(Selection time precedes election time)
Gen Shwe Mann and his wife are close to the strongman's family on a personal level, undertaking shopping trips together to Singapore.
Gen Than Shwe's choice for one of the two proposed vice presidents, according to informed sources, is Maj Gen Htay Oo, the minister of agriculture and irrigation and a key leader of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), the junta-backed mass organisation.
Maj Gen Tin Ngwe, who is commander of central command, is said by analysts to be the front-runner for the post of commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He recently accompanied Gen Than Shwe when he made an official visit to Sri Lanka.
According to the new constitution, the commander-in-chief will control the ministries of defence, border affairs and home affairs, exercising wide executive powers.
Analysts say Gen Than Shwe wants to make sure the 2010 election provides him and his family with a safe exit strategy. That entails leaving his trusted aides at the helm _ and that means the country will continue to be to run by the military.