Burma’s new parliament sworn in

Analysts say the country’s most powerful general, Than Shwe, is unlikely to relinquish all power

Burma’s military government has been officially dissolved, state television said, after the new president of a civilian-led parliament was sworn in.

There are also unconfirmed reports that senior General Than Shwe, who who has ruled Burma for the last two decades, has given up his last official role.

Reports say General Min Aung Hlaing is the new head of Burma’s army.

It follows elections in November widely criticised by Western governments and Burmese pro-democracy campaigners.

The swearing-in of a new parliament completes a transition of power from a military regime to a hybrid administration.

Following Burma’s first elections in 20 years, it is the final stage in a long road to what the country’s military leaders have called a “disciplined democracy”.

But critics dismiss the new system as a continuation of the old in a new guise.

Burmese state TV said that senior General Than Shwe had “officially dissolved” the military regime’s State Peace and Development Council.

Unconfirmed reports say that Gen Min Aung Hlaing attended the inauguration of Thein Sein as president in the capacity of the new head of the Armed Forces.

The BBC’s South East Asia correspondent Rachel Harvey says the key question is what happens to the all-powerful outgoing head of state, Gen Than Shwe.

If it is confirmed that he has stepped down as commander-in-chief, it suggests he will take up a role behind the scenes. No-one seriously believes he would voluntarily bow out altogether, our correspondent says.

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