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Burma Main Page

 

Burma Politics

Country name:
conventional long form: Union of Burma
conventional short form: Burma
local long form: Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of Myanmar)
local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw
former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma
note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; the US Government did not adopt the name, which is a derivative of the Burmese short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw
Government type:
military regime
Capital:
name: Rangoon (Yangon)
geographic coordinates: 16 48 N, 96 09 E
time difference: UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Nay Pyi Taw is administrative capital
Administrative divisions:
7 divisions (taing-myar, singular - taing) and 7 states* (pyi ne-myar, singular - pyi ne)
divisions: Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, Yangon
states: Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine (Arakan), Shan
Independence:
4 January 1948 (from the UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)
Constitution:
3 January 1974; suspended since 18 September 1988; a constitution officially received 92.48% support in a flawed May 2008 referendum that most observers judged fell far short of international standards of free and fair elections; note - a new constitution is to take effect when a parliament is convened possibly in late January 2011
Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister Lt. Gen THEIN SEIN (since 24 October 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet is overseen by the military regime that assumed power 18 September 1988 under the name State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); changed in 1997 to SPDC
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: none
Legislative branch:
bicameral, consists of the House of Nationalities [Amyotha Hluttaw] (224 seats, 168 directly elected and 56 appointed by the military; members serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives [Pythu Hluttaw] (440 seats, 330 directly elected and 110 appointed by the military; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 7 November 2010 (next to be held in December 2015)
election results: House of Nationalities - percent of vote by party - USDP 74.8%, others (NUP, SNDP, RNDP, NDF, AMRDP) 25.2%; seats by party - USDP 129, others 39; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - USDP 79.6%, others (NUP, SNDP, RNDP, NDF, AMRDP) 20.4%; seats by party - USDP 259, others 66
Judicial branch:
remnants of the British-era legal system are in place, but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not independent of the executive
Political parties and leaders:
All Mon Region Democracy Party or AMRDP; National Democratic Force or NDF [KHIN MAUNG SWE]; National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, AUNG SAN SUU KYI]; note - the party is defunct because it did not register for the 2010 election; National Unity Party or NUP [TUN YE]; Rakhine Nationalities Development Party or RNDP; Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [HKUN HTUN OO]; Union Solidarity and Development Party or USDP [THEIN SEIN]; numerous smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Thai border: Ethnic Nationalities Council or ENC; Federation of Trade Unions-Burma or FTUB (exile trade union and labor advocates); National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or NCGUB (self-proclaimed government in exile) ["Prime Minister" Dr. SEIN WIN] consists of individuals, some legitimately elected to the People's Assembly in 1990 (the group fled to a border area and joined insurgents in December 1990 to form a parallel government in exile); National Council-Union of Burma or NCUB (exile coalition of opposition groups)
Inside Burma: Kachin Independence Organization or KIO; Karen National Union or KNU; Karenni National People's Party or KNPP; Union Solidarity and Development Association or USDA (pro-regime, a social and political mass-member organization) [HTAY OO, general secretary] became the Union Solidarity and Development Party in 2010; United Wa State Army or UWSA; 88 Generation Students (pro-democracy movement); several other Shan factions
International organization participation:
ADB, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires HAN THU - note: Burma does not have an ambassador to the United States
chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-3344
FAX: [1] (202) 332-4351
consulate(s) general: none; Burma has a Mission to the UN in New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires Larry M. DINGER - note: The United States does not have an ambassador to Burma
embassy: 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, Rangoon
mailing address: Box B, APO AP 96546
telephone: [95] (1) 536-509, 535-756, 538-038
FAX: [95] (1) 650-306
Flag description:
design consists of three equal horizontal stripes of yellow (top), green, and red; centered on the green band is a large white five-pointed star that partially overlaps onto the adjacent colored stripes; the design revives the triband colors used by Burma from 1943-45, during the Japanese occupation
National anthem:
name: "Kaba Ma Kyei" (Till the End of the World, Myanmar)
lyrics/music: SAYA TIN
note: adopted 1948; Burma is among a handful of non-European nations that have anthems rooted in indigenous traditions; the beginning portion of the anthem is a traditional Burmese anthem before transitioning into a Western-style orchestrated work

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