Governance

Royal Government of Bhutan

From a monarchy, Bhutan became a democracy, with the first general elections in 2008. The most salient feature of the evolution to democracy is the fact that it came from the Throne. Unlike other countries where blood was shed in the transformation to democracy, in Bhutan, the Fourth King, declared in 2005, that he would abdicate and that elections for a democracy would be held in 2008.

It is important to note that the Bhutanese people, who prospered under the reins of the Wangchuck dynasty, did not want a change in governance. Several people underlined that Bhutan should remain a Kingdom. However, the Fourth King, the Father of Modern Bhutan, said that difficulties are faced when one man alone takes the reins of governance and also that there is no guarantee that all Kings would be the same.

Bhutan’s electoral system is a two party system, similar to the British system. The Head of State is the King, with the Prime Minister the Head of government. Politically elected leaders become cabinet ministers. Public servants, who are underlined to be apolitical, support the government machinery.

The three arms of Governance; Judiciary, Executive and Legislative are clearly defined with independent roles. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the interpreter of the Constitution.

At the local levels too, leaders are elected through a secret ballot.