Aung San Suu Kyi sworn in as a member of parliament in Burma

Wednesday 02 May 2012 14.05
Aung San Suu Kyi reads her parliamentary oath
Aung San Suu Kyi reads her parliamentary oath

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sworn in as a member of parliament.

The event opens a new chapter in the Nobel laureate's near quarter-century struggle against oppression.

The 66-year-old stood to read the parliamentary oath in unison with 33 other members of her National League for Democracy party who were elected to the lower house in April.

The signing of the oath marks a dramatic transformation in her fortunes.

Ms Suu Kyi had been held under house arrest for much of the past 20 years, but is now central to the nation's tentative transition to democracy.

The oath, taken in front of lower house speaker Shwe Mann, states members will "safeguard and abide by the Constitution of the Union" and "hold always in esteem the non-disintegration of the Union, non-disintegration of national solidarity and perpetuation of sovereignty".

Ms Suu Kyi had initially refused to swear the oath, objecting specifically to the "safeguard" element of the army-created constitution.

However on Monday she retreated from that position having failed to secure a compromise on the wording from President Thein Sein who heads the nation's nominally civilian government.

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