Aung San Suu Kyi's party could be deprived of a historic election victory in Sunday's elections in Myanmar because of "dirty tricks". Leaders of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and human rights groups have said the military, which ruled the Southeast Asian country for 49 years until 2011, has been engaging in cheating and intimidation to aid the candidates of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development party (USDP).

The opposition has identified irregularities in the voter lists and government workers being threatened with the sack if they do not back the USDP. They also point to the fact that the state media is broadcasting pro-government propaganda, which is giving them an unfair advantage.

Most political commentators believe that despite Suu Kyi's party being set to gain the most votes in the election, this might not be enough for the party to secure a victory because a quarter of the seats in Myanmar's parliament are reserved for the military.

That means that the NLD must win 60% of the vote in order to have a majority in parliament. Suu Kyi has this week publically raised her concerns about the legitimacy of the elections, according to the Times.

"It is not a great democratic transition," she said. "Already the election process is proving to be less than totally free and fair. I'm concerned about the extent to which the authorities are prepared to go in order to try to win the elections."

Opposition and human rights groups have also complained about Tin Aye, the head of the union election commission which has organised the election because he is a former general and USDP MP who has previously spoken of his desire for the ruling party to win. He has also said that if the NLD wins the election, then the military may have to take power again in a coup.

According to the Times, he told an interviewer: "The military may seize power for fear that the union may break up." Aye added: "I love the military. I am willing to sacrifice my life for them. I want the USDP to win, but to win fairly, not by cheating."

Nevertheless, many commentators believe that the NLD could win the election, despite the huge obstacles in the way. Suu Kyi cannot stand herself because the constitution, which was drafted by the military, forbids anyone with foreign children from becoming president.

However, this has not stopped her from saying at a political rally this week that she would be "above the president" if the NLD won.