Thein Sein

Myanmar democracy takes momentous step with new president

Myanmar's slow transition to democracy took a momentous step Wednesday as a trusted aide to ruling-party leader Aung San Suu Kyi took over as the country's president, officially ending more than 50 years of the military's control over government.

In a day full of ceremony and symbolism, Htin Kyaw was sworn in along with his two vice presidents and 18 Cabinet ministers. Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate and face of Myanmar's pro-democracy movement, takes on a prominent role as the country's new foreign minister and the head of three other ministries — education, energy and the presidential office.

"The Union Parliament has elected me as president, which is a...