Myanmar is considered a unitary parliamentary republic which means that the central government is the supreme power and administrative divisions only exercise powers vested in them by the government. The country was ruled as a British colony from 1824-1948 and the post-colonial transition to democracy was difficult. In 1962, General Ne Win led a coup d'├ętat that saw military rule reign supreme in Myanmar for almost 50 years. Although Myanmar's days of military dictatorship are over, the military holds important positions of power and influence within the government.

The last election in Myanmar took place on 8 November 2015 and the National League for Democracy won 255 seats in the House of Representatives and 135 seats in the legislature. Although national elections took place in 2010, widespread allegations of fraud and unfair voting practices made the 2015 contest the first openly contested election in 25 years.

The bicameral legislature, known as Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, consists of 224 seats, 168 of which are elected are 58 of which are appointed by the armed forces. The House of Representatives, known as Pyithu Hluttaw, consists of 440 seats, 330 of which are elected and 110 are appointed by the armed forces. The government and parliament of Myanmar function within the framework of the revised 2008 Myanmar National Constitution.

Political parties of Myanmar include the National League for Democracy, the Arakan National Party, and the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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