Bhutan’s democratically elected Parliament is the highest legislative institution in the country. It consists of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo, the National Council and the National Assembly. The Parliament is bicameral and follows Westminster Parliamentary systems. His Majesty the King is the Head of State.
The two chambers were established in 2008 under Articles 11 and 12 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008.
Under the current parliamentary structure, the Parliament has 72 members. NC has 25 members. 20 are elected (one each) from 20 dzongkhags (districts). His Majesty the King appoints the other five as eminent persons. The Council is apolitical (non partisan) - its members are not affiliated to political parties. Apart from its legislative mandate, the council is the house of review.
The National Assembly has 47 members. All of them are elected from 47 constituencies in the country. They belong to one of the political parties in the Parliament – either the ruling or opposition. The party that gets the majority seats in the National Assembly forms the government. The other takes the opposition bench. The Constitution has a provision that the National Assembly shall have a maximum of 55 members elected from each dzongkhag in proportion to its population.
After Bhutan transitioned to parliamentary democracy in 2008, the present Parliament is the second one. Former opposition party (People’s Democratic Party) won the second general election in 2013 making the previous ruling party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) the opposition.
The tenure of Parliament is five years.
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