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The National Assembly of Bhutan


The National Assembly or the Legislature of Bhutan was established by the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1953 in an effort of bringing reform to the old political order. But how much this National Assembly challenged the old order and how mandatory and equitable is it as a legislative institution is of concern. This rubber stamp Assembly of Bhutan is based on the principle of partylessness with the number of members fluctuating around 150 and is dominated by the ruling elite. It is in no way binding upon the king or the government .The king exercises direct power over the National Assembly and it enacts laws in the interest of the king and the ruling elite. The representatives are elected by consensus. There is no voting system. The representation is not proportional to population. The people from the south have only about 12% of seats though they constitute one third of the country's population.

Representation in the National Assembly as of 1988

 Ngalongs (Westerners)  51%
 Sarchops (Easterners)  38%
 Lhotshampas (Southerners)  12%
 Total  100

Ethnic Groups  |   Settlement of Southern Bhutanese   |  Tsa Wa Sum  |  Human Rights Instruments signed/ratified