Myanmar's military government announced Saturday that it will hold a constitutional referendum in May 2008 and a general election in 2010.
The announcement, made on the evening news on state radio and television, marked the first time the ruling junta has set specific dates to carry out stages of what it calls a road map to democracy.
Guidelines for a new constitution were adopted last year, and a government-appointed commission is now drafting the document.
Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962 and has not had a constitution since 1988, when the military violently suppressed mass pro-democracy demonstrations. The country's last election was held in 1990, but the military refused to hand over power to the winner, the National League for Democracy party of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aunt San Suu Kyi.