This article evaluates the prospects for democratic transition in Myanmar by looking at the environment under which dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in 1995 and 2002. It argues that while her release in 1995 was mainly based on the regime's overconfidence in its future political stability and Myanmar's economic prosperity, the absence of these expected outcomes in the early 2000s has forced the military government to develop a more conciliatory position toward the opposition leader. This analysis draws broader implications from current political and economic affairs and assesses their impact on Myanmar's transition to democracy.

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