The crisis in church-state relations was the critical factor behind Major Pierre Buyoya's decision to overthrow the Second Republic in September 1987 and proclaim the advent of the Third Republic. Under Buyoya, the new Tutsi-Hima president, Burundi was ruled by a 30-member military junta, the Military Committee for National Salvation. The ruling party, the UPRONA, consisted almost exclusively of Tutsi members. The 1987 coup did more than replace one group of Tutsi oligarchs with another; it signaled an important shift of policy on the issue of church-state relations, and, by implication, on the Hutu-Tutsi problem. Ironically, Buyoya's call for liberalization, while significantly raising the expectations of the Hutu masses, did little to alter the rigidly discriminatory posture of Tutsi civil servants in the provinces.