List of political parties in Bhutan

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Bhutan, which first made moves to become democratic in 2007, has two registered political parties.

Officially registered political parties

Bhutan currently has five political parties that are officially registered:

According to the official Election Commission Charter, the BKP logo description outlines 5 circles[1] with the yellow circle symbolizing Bhutan's rich and unique culture that values allegiance to the King, Country and People – Tsawa-Sum. The green circle signifies sustainable management and utilization of our natural resources for green economic development for the benefit of all Bhutanese people. The brown circle symbolizes efforts to sustain broad-based and regionally balanced economic development and growth, reinforcing social development through equal opportunities to avoid exclusion and overcome socially divisive disparities, while respecting diversity as part of the enabling environment for socio-economic development. The red circle signifies united conviction towards equitable social development as an important factor for the eradication of poverty and enhancing human wellbeing and the quality of life of all Bhutanese people. It further represents BKP's compassionate responsibility for reducing inequalities, pursuit of people empowerment, rule of law, provision of safety nets, and participation in a democratic and pluralistic system respectful of all human rights and individual respect. Finally, the blue center circle symbolizes good governance that will be critical for the health of the socio-economy, the environment and our unique culture. It will encompass strong institutions such as the National Assembly, the National Council, Anti-Corruption Commission, Royal Audit Authority, Royal Civil Service Commission, Office of Attorney General and the strengthening of media institutions. The white color in the background symbolizes Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party’s purity of heart and mind in the service of Tsawa-Sum. All five circles are interdependent in nature and will interact in coordinated spheres as represented by the outer five rings with the center circle maintaining close harmony in the overall national pursuit of Gross National Happiness.[2]

The People's Democratic Party was founded on March 24, 2007.[3]

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa came into being as a merger of the Bhutan People's United Party and the All People's Party on July 25, 2007.[4] Both of these parties have been registered with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB). However, the application of the Bhutan People's United Party (revived again by a breakaway faction of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) for registration was rejected by the ECB on November 27, 2007.

The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa was registered on January 20, 2013. The first party president was Dorji Choden who resigned following the party's elimination in the first round of the 2013 National Assembly Elections to join the People's Democratic Party.[5]

The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa was registered on January 7, 2013. The party president is Lily Wangchuck.[6]

Other political parties

The following parties are all based in exile.

The Druk National Congress was formed in exile in Kathmandu, Nepal on June 16, 1994.

On August 26, 2010, Bhutanese political parties in exile formed an umbrella group to pursue a "unified democratic movement led by Rongthong Kunley Dorji, President of the Druk National Congress. The group's offices opened in Kathmandu in November 2010, and it seems to receive some measure of support from the Nepalese government.[7]

Political parties are regulated under the Constitution of 2008. The Constitution sets forth a multi-party system under which two parties at a time occupy either ruling or opposition positions in the National Assembly. All other government bodies are non-partisan. Substantive and procedural requirements for all political parties, such as registration, are codified in Article 15. The Article also sets forth sets of mandated and prohibited practices, two examples of the latter being receipt of money or assistance from outside Bhutan and political association on the basis of religion, region, or ethnicity.[8]

See also


  1. "Logo BKP" (PDF).
  2. "BKP Charter (Approved by ECB)" (PDF).
  3. Penjore, Ugyen (2007-03-24). "The Race is On". Kuensel online. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  4. Penjore, Ugyen (2007-07-35). "Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, the new party in town". Kuensel online. Retrieved 2011-05-22. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. Chandrasekharan, S. (2010-12-08). "BHUTAN: Political Parties in Exile Form an Umbrella Organisation: Update No. 88". South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG). Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  6. "Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (English)" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
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