Myanmar on Wednesday swore in its first democratically-elected leader after more than 50 years of military rule.
Htin Kyaw, 70, took the oath of office in the country’s parliament, and said he would be "faithful to the people of the republic of the union of Myanmar," also known as Burma, AFP reported.
Htin Kyaw, who takes over from outgoing President Thein Sein, is an ally of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and longtime political prisoner who led her National League for Democracy party to victory in the Nov. 8 elections.
Henry Van Thio and Myint Swe were sworn in as vice presidents, along with cabinet ministers including Suu Kyi, who is blocked from becoming president because of a constitutional clause that excludes anyone with a foreign spouse or children from the position.
Suu Kyi’s two sons are British, as was her late husband. She has said that she will run the government from behind the scenes.
Htin Kyaw pledged to work toward national reconciliation, peace between ethnic groups and improving the lives of the nation's 54 million people after being sworn in.
He said the party aimed to change the constitution. The army will continue to play a key role in the government by retaining control over the ministries of home affairs, border and defense. It reserves 25% of parliamentary seats, meaning it can veto any changes in the constitution.
“Our new government will implement national reconciliation, peace in the country, emergence of a constitution that will pave the way to a democratic union, and enhance the living standard of the people,” said Htin Kyaw, according to the Guardian.
“We have the duty to work for the emergence of a constitution that is appropriate for our country and also in accordance with democratic standards,” he added.