Browse the listing below to find government information for Burma, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Burma at its
Burma Country Page.
Type: military regime.
Constitution: January 3, 1974 (suspended since September 18, 1988 when latest junta took power). A national convention started on January 9, 1993 to draft a new constitution, but progress has since been stalled.
Branches: Executive--Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Senior General Than Shwe is the head of state and government. Legislative--unicameral People's Assembly (Pyithu Hluttaw) has 485 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve 4-year terms. The last elections were in 1990, but the Assembly was never convened. Judicial--Supreme Court. The legal system was based on the British-era system, but now the junta rules by Decree and there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not independent.
Political parties: National League for Democracy (NLD) is the primary opposition party; National Unity Party (NUP) is the primary pro-regime party; the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) is a pro-regime social organization; and other smaller parties.
Administrative subdivisions: Seven primarily Burman divisions (tain) and seven ethnic states (pyi nay); Chin State, Kachin State, Karen State, Karenni State, Mon State, Arakan State, Shan State, Rangoon Division, Mandalay Division, Tenessarim Division, Irrawaddy Division, Pegu Division, Magway Division, and Sagaing Division.
Suffrage: Universal suffrage at 18 years of age (but there have been no elections since 1990).
Flag: Red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing, all in white, 14 five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk of rice. The 14 stars represent the 14 administrative subdivisions.
The Union of Burma (or Myanmar as it is called by the ruling junta) consists of 14 states and divisions. Administrative control is exercised from the central government at Rangoon through a system of subordinate executive bodies.
Power is centered on the ruling junta--the State Peace and Development Council, or SPDC--which maintains strict authoritarian rule over the people of Burma. Control is maintained through the strict censuring of information, repression of individual rights, and suppression of ethnic minority groups.
Today the SPDC continues its harsh rule and systematic human rights abuses. Any future political transition will have to be negotiated among the SPDC, the political opposition, and representatives of Burma's many ethnic minorities.
Although the SPDC changed the name of the country to "Myanmar," the democratically elected Parliament of 1990 does not recognize the name change, and the democratic opposition maintains use of the name, "Burma." Due to unyielding support of the democratically elected leaders, the U.S. Government likewise uses "Burma."