Bangkok, Thailand (BBN)– With just under two weeks left until Myanmar holds its first elections in two decades, it is “not too late” for the South-East Asian nation to make the polls more participatory by releasing political detainees, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

Opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is among the political prisoners who continue to be detained.

“We are really expecting that this election will be a fair one and a credible one and an inclusive one,” Mr. Ban told reporters following a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in Bangkok.

What is also key, he stressed, is how inclusive of a Government is formed after the 7 November polls, only the third multi-party elections in the 60 years since independence.

“That will be a test of the Myanmar Government – how they will be able to meet the expectations of the international community,” the UN chief said.

“The more they signal through concrete actions that it is a departure from business as usual or the status quo towards more openness, the better it will be for the credibility of their country in the democratization process.”

Although Burma, officially known as Myanmar, has signaled that it does not want outside help for its elections, the United Nations is committed to long-term engagement with the country, underlined Mr. Ban, who will meet with Prime Minister Thein Sein on the sidelines of the joint UN-Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)) meeting shortly in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

Among other topics discussed between the Secretary-General and the Thai Prime Minister was the current situation in Thailand, which was rocked by deadly political violence earlier this year between anti-Government protesters and security forces, as well as the national reconciliation efforts under way.

Thailand is the first stop on the Secretary-General’s four-nation Asia visit. He has arrived in Cambodia for the second leg of his tour, and will also travel to Viet Nam and China.

BBN/SSR/AD-27)ct10-11:50 am (BST)