The chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, the military junta that rules Myanmar, currently serves as head of state. The government is headed by the prime minister. Under the constitution adopted in 2008, the president, who is elected by the parliament, is head of state. The head of government is the prime minister. The bicameral parliament consists of the House of Nationalities with 224 members, 168 of which are popularly elected and 56 of which are appointed by the military, and the House of Representatives with 440 members, 330 of which are popularly elected and 110 of which are appointed by the military. Members of both houses serve five-year terms. In addition to the seats it controls in the parliament, the military retains control over its own affairs, and the commander in chief can remove the president. Administratively, the country is divided into seven regions, seven states, and a union territory (Naypyidaw).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.