Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Sworn in as MP
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has taken the oath to become a member of parliament after years of struggle to end the authoritarian rule by the junta.
Suu Kyi took the oath of office at the parliament building in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw a month after her National League for Democracy (NLD) party's historic landslide win in the elections. She won the elections in Kawhmu, south of the commercial capital Yangon.
Suu Kyi and her recently elected NLD members had refused to take oath initially because of the wording of the oath which called for protection of the country's constitution. They had objected to the words promising to "safeguard" the constitution which was drafted by the old military government and wanted it to be changed to "respect", a BBC report said.
On Monday, after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's visit to Myanmar, the NLD backed down and agreed to take oath. But they stressed that they would push to amend the constitution. The UN chief also welcomed her decision to compromise over the oath in the interests of the people.
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"The reason we accept (the oath), firstly is the desire of the people. Our voters voted for us because they want to see us in parliament," BBC quoted Suu Kyi as saying.
Their NLD will still remain in minority as it has too few seats to have real power. One-fourth of the seats are reserved for the military and a majority of the other seats are held by the military-backed ruling party.
Although there are fears that the presence of the majority of opposition lawmakers could simply legitimise the regime without any change, observers believe that Suu Kyi's entry is seen as a key step as Myanmar's new government continues to reform, the BBC report said.
The last time Suu Kyi's party won elections was in 1990 but the party members could not take oath in parliament as the army annulled their victory. The party boycotted the elections that were held in 2010, 15 years after the release of Suu Kyi from house arrest, calling it unfair elections. They agreed to join politics again last year after the new government introduced a series of reforms.
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