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On 4 January 1948, Myanmar became an independent republic, named the Union of Burma, with
Sao Shwe Thaik
as its first President.
Unlike most other former British colonies and overseas territories, it did not become a member of the Commonwealth.
A bicameral parliament was formed, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Chamber of Nationalities, and multi-party elections were held in 1951–1952, 1956 and 1960.