President Thein Sein of Myanmar says his government is trying to achieve democratic changes, but it cannot be the same as democracy in Western countries.
At a news conference in Indonesia, the former general said Myanmar (also known as Burma) would need peace and stability to make more progress.
The BBC reports a number of political prisoners have been released recently and the National League for Democracy, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, is to seek election to parliament in forthcoming byelections.
The party said on Friday it would register to run.
Ms Suu Kyi was released from house arrest a year ago. The NLD boycotted the last election in November 2010, which was the first in 20 years.