After many years of military rule, Burma held its first general election in 2010. The election was disputed, however, with many claims of fraud and was boycotted by the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy.
From 1962 to 2011, Burma was governed by a military junta made up of generals in the army that was widely criticized for human rights abuses and the suppression of free speech. The election produced an ostensibly civilian government under President Thein Sein, a former general in the military junta, along with two vice presidents. The country's constitution enshrines a significant role and representation at all levels of government to the military and Burma remains an authoritarian state.