Burma's ruling military-backed party has kicked off a four-day convention to choose leaders and strategies for the 2015 general election.
More than 900 members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) met on Sunday at their headquarters in Naypyitaw, 350 kilometres north of Rangoon.
The assembly is expected to vote for a new executive board on Tuesday, sources said.
President Thein Sein is expected to be replaced as party chief by Shwe Mann, speaker of the lower house. Both are political reformers, but Shwe Mann is more ambitious to lead the party in the crucial 2015 polls, analysts said.
The USDP, seen as the political arm of the military establishment that has dominated politics for decades, is packed with former officers. Thein Sein and Shwe Mann were both generals and members of the junta that ruled during 1988-2010.
The party won the November 7, 2010, national election, which was boycotted by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
But the NLD trounced the USDP in an April 1 by-election, winning 43 out of 45 contested seats.
That outcome was a wake-up call for the ruling party.
'Only if they can build a party that can earn the trust of the people can the USDP dream about winning the 2015 election,' Sai Hsaung Hsi, vice chairman of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, told the Myanmar Times.
'The people expressed their judgment of the party in the last by-election,' he said.