Political System of Bhutan
The Bhutanese follow a dual system of administration where the King looks after the temporal affairs and the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) the spiritual matters. This form of administration was instituted by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1616. Since then till 1907, the temporal affairs were controlled by Desi who were normally appointed by the Council of Ministers (Lhengye Tshog) and the Central Monastic Body (Zhung Dratshang). In 1907, the people of Bhutan unanimously enthroned Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck as the First King of Bhutan as he had proved to be the man of the hour tactfully bringing together the different Dzongpons and Penlops (governors of fortress) and bringing peace to Bhutan when serving as the Governor of Trongsa (Trongsa Penlop). Since then, the country was ruled by the successive monarchs of under the Wangchuck dynasty.
Initiating the move to ensure the governance of the country more democratic, the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck instituted the National Assembly (Tshogdu) in 1953 with elected members representing every gewog (smallest administrative unit). The National Assembly became the platform where the representatives of the people enacted laws and discussed issues of national importance.
The establishment of the Royal Advisory Council (Lodoe Tshogde) in 1963 as a link between the king, council of ministers and the people was another move towards democratization. It also advised the king and the council of ministers on important issues and ensured that the projects were implemented successfully. Decentralization of the decision making at the district and local levels were also enhanced with the institution of Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogdu (District Development Assembly) in 1981 and Gewog Yargay Tshogchung (County Development Assembly) in 1991 by the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
The devolution of the power of the King in 1998 to the cabinet ministers was the highest form of decentralization. The King, thereafter, began to serve as the Head of the State while the government is managed by the Prime Minister. The first cabinet ministers were:
* Lyonpo Jigme Y. Thinley
* Lyonpo Sangay Nidup
* Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba
* Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk
* Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji
* Lyonpo Thinley Gyamtsho
Lyonpo Jigme Y. Thinley served as the first Prime Minister which is for a term of one year.
In November 2001, on the advice of the Fourth king, a committee chaired by the Chief Justice of Bhutan, was formed to draft the constitution of Bhutan. The constitution will be launched in 2008 and with it a parliamentary democracy introduced. The progression from Hereditary Monarchy to Parliamentary Democracy has been gradual from the institution of National Assembly in 1953 to all the decentralization that followed suit. Thus, in 2008 Bhutan will see one of its political party form the government to steer the country.
The organs of the Bhutanese government comprise the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive. The ruling political party, the opposition and the National Council will form the legislative body.