Suu Kyi attends Myanmar's parliament as lawmaker

Published July 09, 2012

| Associated Press

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi attended her first session of Myanmar's parliament as a lawmaker on Monday after she and her party won April by-elections.

Suu Kyi was mobbed by reporters as she walked up a flight of stairs into the assembly in the capital, Naypyitaw.

The legislature is expected to appoint a new vice president and consider legislation on topics ranging from press freedom to new foreign investment laws.

Suu Kyi took the oath of office in May as the previous legislative session ended. She spent much of the previous two decades under house arrest during the rule of a brutal military junta.

Current President Thein Sein has introduced reconciliation policies which convinced Suu Kyi to agree to have her party join parliamentary politics. She and other colleagues now belong to a small opposition in the military-dominated legislature after winning 43 of the 45 seats at stake in the by-elections.

Thein Sein's office, meanwhile, announced a minor reshuffle of six deputy ministers on Monday. No reason was given for the move.

Government advisers say Thein Sein intends to merge some ministries to improve efficiency and expedite economic and political reforms.

His government is seeking to attract aid and investment through the reforms. The previous military regime was shunned by many Western countries, who applied economic and political sanctions because of its poor record on human rights and democracy.

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