YANGON, Myanmar — After more than five decades of isolation and repressive military rule, Myanmar on Monday swore in hundreds of lawmakers in its first freely elected parliament.
The inaugural session marked the start of a new era for Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, which has been under army control since 1962.
It follows a Nov. 8 election that saw Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party win two-thirds of available parliamentary seats and effectively rout the country’s military leaders. Suu Kyi won a landslide election in 1990 that was later annulled by the military.
Myanmar still faces a long road to full democracy. The military retains 25% of seats in parliament, giving it a veto over constitutional changes. It also still controls key sectors of the economy and ministries such as defense, interior and border affairs. In addition, the army can take over the government under emergency legislation.