The First Druk Gyalpo was fully engaged in restoring peace and order in the newly carved out Kingdom. The Second King was involved with its consolidation. Thus their time was fully utilized investing all their energies in establishing a stable Kingdom, ensuring its sovereignty and preparing it for reforms that would benefit the Bhutanese. Almost four and half decades down the line since the establishment of a hereditary monarchy, when the third Druk Gyaplo succeeded to the throne he saw that the time was appropriate for the institution of socio-economic and political reforms. One of the most historic reforms was the establishment of the Tshogdu, National Assembly and the Lodroe Tshogde, the Royal Advisory Council.
The first political reform taken by the third King was the establishment of Tshogdu, National Assembly in 1953 creating a representative form of Government and making Bhutan a Constitutional Monarchy. The National Assembly aimed at involving the people in decision making and eventually develop a politically consciousness society. Thus, the membership to the National Assembly comprised 10 government representatives, 10 monastic representatives and 110 people’s representatives. However, in 1960s the number of government representative increased from 10 to 30 so that there would be representation from all the different sectors. The Tshogdu met twice a year to discuss the important matters relating to people and country. All the decisions had to be passed by two-third majority to be assented by the King before it became a law.
The members of Tshogdu held the office for the tenure of three years. The members enjoyed freedom of speech and it is a democratically designed body, which generates national awareness. It served mainly as a legislative body though at times it also had to undertake advisory role. In 1968, the rules and regulations of the National Assembly were revised the King voluntarily surrendered his veto power on the decisions of the Tshogdu. The King also vested the Tshogdu with sovereign power. Further, the power to pass the vote of no-confidence and remove the ministers and the King himself was entrusted to the National Assembly.
In 1965, the King instituted the Lodroe Tshogde, the Royal Advisory Council. It consisted of eight members: five representing the people, two representing the Monk Body and one nominee of the king, who acted as a Kalyon (Chairman). Later the member representing the people was increased to six from five. The members held office for three years initially. Though this body was not responsible to the National Assembly, it served as the coordinating link between the legislature and the executive. This Council advised the king and his council of ministers on key issues of policy and ensured the implementation of the resolutions passed by the National Assembly.
The institution of the Tshogdu and Lodroe Tshogde guaranteed that their voice was also heard through their representatives. This was first initiative to decentralize the decision making authority to the grassroots level.