Yangon: Myanmar's military junta on Wednesday made way for a new government after almost half a century, ushering in a new era of civilian rule. A new President was appointed after the Myanmar junta was dissolved. 

The army hierarchy still retains a firm hold on power in the Country and analysts believe that Senior General, Than Shwe will attempt to retain some control and command behind the scenes.

After the last year controversial election-the countries first in 20 years, the handover came into effect. The polls were marred by the absence of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and claimed of widespread cheating and intimidation

Quoting an order signed by strongman Than Shwe, it was reported that the junta's State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) "has been officially dissolved".

The Senior General, who has ruled since 1992, is apparently no longer in the hitherto most powerful position of head of the army.

Analyst Aung Naing Oo said: "Everyone will be required to report to him for quite some time." He added the handover was similar to the slow withdrawal of Than Shwe's predecessor, late dictator Ne Win.

"We have not had any kind of democracy in the past 50 years so it is more like an experiment," the Thailand-based analyst said. "There are more questions than answers."

The SPDC, seized power in 1988, but Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962 and the generals continue to control the impoverished nation.

Former prime minister Thein Sein, a key Than Shwe ally, was sworn in as President on Wednesday.

Thein Sein is among a slew of generals who dropped army uniforms to contest the elections last year and are now civilian members of Parliament, which also has a quarter of its seats kept aside for the military.

Presidential inauguration was attended by General Min Aung Hlaing in a new guise as armed forces commander-in-chief, implying Than Shwe no longer holds the top military job, An official said.

He added that "it's not clear yet" whether Min Aung Hlaing has officially taken over the army.

"Altogether 58 new cabinet members including the President, two vice presidents, officials and ministers were sworn in this morning at the Union Parliament" in Naypyidaw, the official added.

The apparent new Army Chief, 54-year-old Min Aung Hlaing, is part of a younger generation of Myanmar generals.

He was head of the Defence Services Academy and a commander in the so-called Golden Triangle, a region near the country's borders with Laos and Thailand notorious for drug
trafficking.

(Agencies)