National Assembly (Bhutan)

27°29′23.2″N 89°38′17.5″E / 27.489778°N 89.638194°E / 27.489778; 89.638194

National Assembly
Gyelyong Tshogdu
Coat of arms or logo
Wangchuk Namgyel, DNT
since 7 November 2018
Deputy Speaker
Tshencho Wangdi, DNT
since 7 November 2018
Leader of the Opposition
Dorji Wangdi, DPT
since 7 November 2018
Political groups
Government (33)

Opposition (14)

Modified two-round system
Last election
15 September 2018 and 18 October 2018
Next election
30 November 2023 and 9 January 2024
Meeting place
Gyelyong Tshokhang, Thimphu (Here shown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India addressing a joint session of the Parliament in 2014.)
Official Website of the National Assembly of Bhutan

The National Assembly is the elected lower house of Bhutan's bicameral Parliament which also comprises the Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and the National Council. It is the more powerful house.

Current National Assembly

The current National Assembly has 47 members, first elected in the inaugural general election on March 24, 2008. Jigme Thinley's Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) Party won a landslide victory, securing 45 seats. The People's Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two, but its leader, Sangay Ngedup, lost the election in his constituency.

Under the 2008 Constitution, Article 12, section 1, the National Assembly consists of a maximum of 55 members directly elected by the citizens of constituencies within each Dzongkhag (District). Under this single-winner voting system, each constituency is represented by a single National Assembly member; each of the 20 Dzongkhags must be represented by between 2–7 members. Constituencies are reapportioned every 10 years (Art. 12, § 2). The National Assembly meets at least twice a year (Art. 12, § 5), and elects a Speaker and Deputy Speaker from among its members (Art. 12, § 3). Members and candidates are allowed to hold political party affiliation.

The 2013 National Assembly election resulted in large increase in percentage of PDP members, who held 32 seats to the DPT's 15 when the new assembly was convened.

In the 2018 National Assembly election, PDP did not qualify for the Elections. DNT saw a rise of 30 seats, thus becoming the majority party in the Assembly. DPT, which won 17 seats, became the opposition.

The 2023 National Assembly election are scheduled to be held in 2023.


The National Assembly was originally decreed in 1953 by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The National Assembly began as a unicameral parliament within the King's framework for democratization. In 1971, King Jigme Dorji empowered the National Assembly to remove him or any of his successors with a two-thirds majority. The procedure for abdication remains a part of Bhutan's Constitution of 2008, with the addition of a three-fourths majority in a joint sitting of Parliament (i.e., including the National Council) to confirm the involuntary abdication as well as a national referendum to finalize it. (Art. 2)

Electoral system

The 47 members of the National Assembly are elected from single-member constituencies. Primary elections are held in which voters cast votes for parties. The top two parties are then able to field candidates in the main round of voting, in which members are elected using first-past-the-post voting.


Complete list of speakers of the National Assembly.

Name Entered Office Left Office
Dasho Kesang Dawa 1953 1955
Dasho Thinley Dorji 1956 1963
Dasho Tamji Jagar 1964 1965
Nidup Yanglop 1966 1968
Dasho Kesang Dawa 1969 1971
Dasho Shingkhar Lam 1971 1974
Nidup Yanglop 1974 1977
Dasho Tamji Jagar 1977 1988
Lyonpo Sangye Penjor 1988 1989
Dasho Passang Dorji 1989 1997
Lyonpo Kinzang Dorji 1997 2000
Dasho Ugyen Dorji 2000 2007
Lyonpo Jigme Tshultim 2008 2013
Lyonpo Jigme Zangpo 2013 2018
Lyonpo Wangchuk Namgyel 2018 Present


A map of Bhutan showing its 20 dzongkhags.
A map of Bhutan showing its 20 dzongkhags. Currently, each dzongkhag has between two and five National Assembly constituencies.

The National Assembly, the lower of the Parliament of Bhutan, consists Members of Parliament (MPs). Each MP represents a single geographic constituency. Currently, there are 47 National Assembly constituencies. Out of the 20 dzongkhags of Bhutan, Trashigang, with five constituencies, has the highest number of National Assembly constituencies. Samtse, with four constituencies, has the second highest number of National Assembly constituencies. Mongar and Pema Gatshel, with three constituencies each, share the third highest position. All of the other 16 dzongkhags have two constituencies each.

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-01-07 13:24 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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