Junta (governing body)

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Junta (/ˈhʊntə/ or /ˈʌntə/) is a Spanish, Greek and Portuguese term for a civil deliberative or administrative council. In English, it predominantly refers to the government of an authoritarian state run by high ranking officers of a military. Military juntas can refer to either a government in which a coalition of military officers rules in conjunction or to a military dictatorship in which a leader's government and administration is staffed primarily by military officers. Juntas, like military dictatorships, are often the result of military coups. "Junta" literally means "union" and often refers to the army, navy and air force commanders taking over the power of the president, prime minister, king or other non-military leader, but it may also mean gasket to join two metal surfaces.

Often, military juntas will transfer to nominally democratic governments in which former military leaders are elected. Whether this is due to popular support for the actions of the military, political intimidation, or electoral fraud is often difficult to discover. This calls in to question whether or not a military junta ends with the commencement of democratic elections. This has become increasingly common in modern years, as exemplified by the governments of Egypt and Fiji.

An earlier, different use of the term in English was the Whig Junto, a political faction in early 18th Century Britain.

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