April 23 - Myanmar's parliament convenes without Aung San Suu Kyi whose party is boycotting the legislature over the wording of the oath of office. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Myanmar's parliament convened on Monday (April 23) but without Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi whose party is boycotting the legislature in a row over the wording of the oath of office. The protest by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy comes just weeks after the party's success in historic by-elections. The move will dent the image of transformation the government wanted to show on Monday when the European Union was almost certain to become the first among Western powers to suspend many of its sanctions which have isolated Myanmar for decades. Parliament opened on Monday with 215 members taking part. 21 of those are new members who took the oath before the president of parliament and speaker of the house of representatives. Just one of the new members is a civilian. The rest are from the military. The NLD is refusing to take the oath of office which requires members to 'safeguard' the constitution. It wants to amend the constitution to reduce the military's enshrined political role after five decades of brutal and inept army rule, and wants the wording of the oath changed to 'respect' the constitution.