Government type:
constitutional monarchy
Capital:
name: Thimphu

Administrative divisions:
20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatshel, Punakha, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang, Thimphu, Trashigang, Trashi Yangtse, Trongsa, Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang, Zhemgang
Independence:
17 December 1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king); 8 August 1949 (Treaty of Friendship with India maintains Bhutanese independence)
National holiday:
National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Constitution:
history: previous governing documents were various royal decrees; first constitution drafted November 2001 - March 2005, ratified 18 July 2008
amendments: proposed as a motion by simple majority vote in a joint session of Parliament; passage requires at least a three-fourths majority vote in a joint session of the next Parliament and assented to by the king; amended 2011 (2017)
Legal system:
civil law based on Buddhist religious law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bhutan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 to his son
head of government: Prime Minister Tshering TOBGAY (since 27 July 2013)
cabinet: Council of Ministers or Lhengye Zhungtshog members nominated by the monarch in consultation with the prime minister and approved by the National Assembly; members serve 5-year terms
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary but can be removed by a two-third vote of Parliament; leader of the majority party in Parliament is nominated as the prime minister, appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
description: bicameral Parliament or Chi Tshog consists of:
non-partisan National Council or Gyelyong Tshogde (25 seats; 20 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 members appointed by the king; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly or Tshogdu (47 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: National Council election last held on 20 April 2018 (next to be held in 2023; National Assembly election first round held on 31 May 2013 and second round on 13 July 2013 ((next to be held in late November 2018)
election results: National Council - seats by party - independent 20 (all candidates required to run as independents); National Assembly - percent of vote by party in first round - DPT 44.5%; PDP 32.5%; DNT 17.0%; DCT 5.9%; percent of vote in second round - PDP 54.9%, DPT 45.1%; seats by party - PDP 32, DPT 15
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 justices including the chief justice); note - the Supreme Court has sole jurisdiction in constitutional matters
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the monarch upon the advice of the National Judicial Commission, a 4-member body to include the Legislative Committee of the National Assembly, the attorney general, the Chief Justice of Bhutan and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; other judges (drangpons) appointed by the monarch from among the High Court judges selected by the National Judicial Commission; chief justice serves a 5-year term or until reaching age 65 years, whichever is earlier; the 4 other judges serve 10-year terms or until age 65, whichever is earlier
subordinate courts: High Court (first appellate court); District or Dzongkhag Courts; sub-district or Dungkhag Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party or BKP [Dasho Neten ZANGMO]
Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) or DPT [Pema GYAMTSHO]
Druk Chirwang Tshogpa or DCT [Lily WANGCHUK]
Druk Nymarup Tshogpa or DNT [Tandin DORJI]
People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tshering TOBGAY]