Htin Kyaw, first elected civilian president, takes power in Myanmar

Htin Kyaw takes over from semi-civilian ruler Thein Sein to become the first elected civilian leader in more than 50 years.

National League for Democracy's Htin Kyaw has been sworn in as the president of Myanmar, completing a historic transition from military rule to elected civilian administration.

Htin took over from outgoing semi-civilian ruler Thein Sein to become the first elected civilian leader in the country in more than 50 years.

The new president, a loyalist of democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi, won the presidential election earlier this month, winning 360 out of the 652 votes cast by the members of the parliament.

The country's landmark transition from rule under military junta to elected democracy follows the crushing victory registered by Suu Kyi's NLD in parliamentary elections in November.

Though Suu Kyi's party won overwhelming majority in the parliament the constitution proscribed her from holding the top post as her sons hold British citizenship.

However, Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years in house arrest after her party won a majority in parliamentary elections in 1990, said she will be in the driver's seat.

The daughter of Myanmar's independence hero General Aung San had said she will be "above the president."

Last week her party said Oxford-educated Suu Kyi will be the foreign minister in the new government.

Htin Kyaw, 69, is the son of Min Thu Wun, who had won a parliamentary seat in the 1990 election. His wife Su Su Lwin is a sitting MP and prominent NLD leader.

Myanmar's four-decade military rule partially ended in 2011 when it allowed a semi-civilian government to come to power.

The historic elections in November saw Suu Kyi's NLD winning in more than 80 percent of parliament seats.

Under the 2008 constitution, the military holds crucial political powers, and 25 percent of the seats in the parliament is reserved for the armed forces.

One of the two vice-presidents is from the military and the armed forces control three key ministries including defence.

Ahead of the swearing-in of a new civilian president, the military reaffirmed its role in politics saying it remained the country's sole unifying force and protector of the constitution.