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Suu Kyi to attend Burmese parliament after oath dispute resolved

The head of the Burmese opposition will lead party colleagues to the parliament on Wednesday after a dispute over a legislative oath was resolved.

Image: Khin Maung Win/AP/Press Association Images

BURMA’S OPPOSITION LEADER Aung San Suu Kyi says a dispute over the wording of Burma’s legislative oath has been resolved.

Suu Kyi said earlier today she and the rest of her party’s elected lawmakers will attend parliament for the first time on Wednesday.

The party had objected to THE phrasing that obligated them to “safeguard the constitution.” The party had vowed to amend the document because it was drafted under military rule and, in the opposition’s view, gives the army inordinate power.

It was not immediately clear how the dispute was resolved but Suu Kyi is quoted on Reuters as saying that the decision was being taken as “a gesture of respect to the desires of the people and in consideration of the requests made by lawmakers from democratic parties and independent lawmakers”.

The dispute had threatened to unravel a fragile and unprecedented detente between the opposition and the military-backed government.

Earlier this month Suu Kyi and 43 of her party colleages in the National League for Democracy won seats in the parliamentary by-elections which followed a range of political reforms from the country’s rulers over the past year.

The former junta had kept Suu Kyi imprisoned in her lakeside home for the better part of two decade before she was released in late 2010.

Suu Kyi will now meet with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Yangon tomorrow before travelling with her party colleagues to the country’s capital Naypyitaw for Wednesday’s session.

In a historic address to parliament earlier today, Ban said that the path was “too narrow to turn back” and praised leaders on both sides for their courage and vision in getting as far as they have with reforms, BBC News reports.

- additional reporting from AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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