Myanmar's first civilian president in more than 50 years sworn in

Htin Kyaw (70) will act as a proxy for the pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi

myanmar, civilian, president, Htin Kyaw, Aung San Suu Kyi, sworn in,

Htin Kyaw, left, newly elected president of Myanmar walks with National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center. Image: Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP/Press Association Images

A close aide to Aung San Suu Kyi has been sworn in as Myanmar's president.

It is the first time the country formerly known as Burma has voted for a civilian leader after decades of military rule.

Htin Kyaw (70) will act as a proxy for the pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) won elections last November.

The Guardian reports that the new president told members of parliament that "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".

Ms Suu Kyi - known simply as The Lady by many - is barred from becoming president but has said she would be the power behind the new leader.

She cannot become president under the constitution written by the junta, which bars anyone with a foreign spouse or child from holding the top job.

Ms Suu Kyi's late husband and sons are British.

Ms Suu Kyi, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, convincingly won the country's last free vote in 1990 - but the military regime refused to hand over control.

She spent most of the next 20 years under house arrest before her release in 2010.

She travelled to Dublin in 2012 to accept the Amnesty International 'Ambassador of Conscience' Award from 2009.