x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi takes her parliamentary oath

The Myanmar opposition leader completes her historic journey from a political prisoner to a parliamentarian.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other elected members of parliament reads her parliamentary oath at the lower house of parliament during a session in Naypyidaw today.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other elected members of parliament reads her parliamentary oath at the lower house of parliament during a session in Naypyidaw today.

NAYPYITAW, MYANMAR // The Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi completed her historic journey from political prisoner to parliamentarian today, assuming public office for the first time in a risky new strategy to work alongside Myanmar's new reform-minded government after her 24-year struggle against military rule.

The 66-year-old democracy leader will have almost no power in the assembly, but she'll nevertheless have an official voice in the legislative branch and the chance to challenge public policy from inside the halls of power for the first time.

Ms Suu Kyi's parliamentary debut comes after her National League for Democracy party lost its first major political battle since this Southeast Asian nation's April 1 by-election - a bid to change the lawmakers' oath.

The NLD had refused to take its seats in the assembly last week because they opposed wording in the oath that obliges legislators to "safeguard" the constitution.

The party, which has vowed to amend the document because it enshrines military power, wanted the phrasing changed to "respect".