GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in to parliament Wednesday 2 May, finally taking public office after a 25-year long struggle against the country’s military regime.
The Nobel prize winner had initially refused the phrasing for the swearing in, which holds her to “safeguard the constitution” drafted by the military regime of the country, also known as Myanmar. She wanted the wording to be changed to “respect”, but backed down after being personally encouraged by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Suu Kyi’s swearing-in comes a month after her party, the National League for Democracy, swept through by-elections to fill 45 vacant parliamentary seats. The party will hold little power within the assembly, with a quarter of all seats reserved for the military and the majority held by the army-backed ruling party. Changes to the country’s constitution require a 75 percent backing. The next national elections are scheduled for 2015.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the capital, Naypyitaw, built by the military junta.