Bhutan History

Shift to a Constitutional Monarchy


Parliamentary elections, Bhutan's first national election, were held in March 2008, with turnout at about 80%. The pro-monarchy Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, translated as the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party, won 44 out of 47 seats in Parliament, trouncing the People’s Democratic Party. The election marked Bhutan's transition from an absolute monarchy to a democracy. In April, Lyonpo Jigme Thinley, of the Peace and Prosperity Party, became prime minister. A new constitution went into effect in July. Universal suffrage was implemented under the new constitution. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned king in November. At age 28, he is the world's youngest monarch. Jigme studied in India and the U.S. and received a master's degree in international relations from Oxford.

See also Encyclopedia: Bhutan .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Bhutan