Pro-democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi Wednesday took oath as official member of the Myanmar Parliament.
According to reports, the oath-taking ceremony of Suu Kyi and 33 members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party which won the April 1, 2012 by-elections was taken in front of Shwe Mann, the speaker of the lower house.
Objecting specifically to the use of "safeguard" in the oath, which was mentioned in the constitution of the army-created constituency, the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate initially refused to swear the oath. Only when they got the word changed from the oath, the new members agreed to take the oath.
"We've always believed in being flexible throughout the years of our struggle because that is the only way in which we can achieve our goal without violence. I don't think flexibility will be a new concept for us," Reuters quoted Suu Kyi as saying.
Suu Kyi and 33 members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party took their seats in the parliament. Three more would join them in the lower house later, Reuters reported.
The pro-democratic party won 44 seats out of the 45 seats in the 664-seat Myanmar parliament.
It also reported that Suu Kyi waded through throngs of foreign and local reporters as she entered parliament in Naypyitaw to join a fragile new political system after 49 years of oppressive army rule.
Her entry into the parliament marks a new political history in the country after 49 years of military rule.
Asked by Reuters as she walked toward the chamber if this marked an important day for Myanmar, Suu Kyi said: "I think only time will tell."
She entered the imposing chamber and sat down on her own, near the block reserved for serving military men, who have a quarter of the seats in parliament under the constitution.
She seemed relaxed as individual lawmakers strolled over to greet her before taking the oath.
The dispute with the ruling army-backed party over the oath had threatened to upset the delicate detente with President Thein Sein, a former senior general who has overseen a year of sweeping reforms in the resource-rich but impoverished country.
Earlier, Suu Kyi's NLD party swept 1990 election while she was in house arrest. However, the military government in the country ignored the verdict.
The party boycotted a general election in November 2010 when Suu Kyi was again under house arrest, saying the poll was rigged in favor of the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
The USDP won an overwhelming victory, but the new government under Thein Sein embarked on political and economic reforms and he persuaded Suu Kyi to enter the political process.
(With Inputs From Reuters)