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Gyelyong Tshogde (National Council)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Chi Tshog / Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Gyelyong Tshogde / National Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Tshogdu / National Assembly
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)31 December 2007
29 January 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the directly elected seats in the newly established National Council.
The Election Commission following a Royal Decree of 30 June 2007 declared that elections to the newly-established National Council the Upper Chamber of the bicameral parliament would be held in December 2007. They were subsequently set for 31 December. The National Council is a non-partisan body comprising 25 members of whom 20 are directly elected while the remaining five are eminent persons nominated by the King.

Bhutan became a monarchy in 1907. In 2005 the then King Jigme Singye Wangchuck unveiled a draft constitution. His son Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck succeeded him in December 2006. Representatives of all 20 districts reviewed the draft constitution. Under the draft the King remains the Head of State but the new bicameral parliament can impeach him by a two-thirds majority vote. The prime minister currently appointed by the King will be elected by the new National Assembly.

On 31 July 2007 the National Assembly was dissolved with a view to elections due to be held on 24 March 2008. The draft constitution will then be presented to the new National Assembly for adoption.

In the December 2007 elections to the National Council 43 candidates contested 15 of the 20 seats.

On 31 December 55 per cent of the 270 000 registered voters in 15 of the 20 districts turned out at the polls. Elections were postponed in five constituencies where there was either no candidate or only one. To be eligible candidates need to hold a university degree. However although the literacy rate in Bhutan is estimated at 60 per cent only 16 000 of the country’s 634 000 inhabitants (see note) are university graduates. Voting went off without any major incident. The results for 15 of the elective seats were announced on 1 January 2008. Eleven of the 15 members were under 40 years old; three women were elected.

Elections for the five remaining seats were held on 29 January 2008. In three constituencies contested by only one candidate voters cast either a "yes" or "no" ballot. Heavy snow and cold weather hit the country apparently accounting for the relatively lower turnout of 42 per cent. On the following day the Election Commission endorsed the five new members. One woman was elected bringing the total number of women to four out of 20 elected members.

On 30 March 2008 the King appointed another five members including two women.

On 29 April the National Council held its first session and elected Mr. Namgye Penjore an elected member from the Punakha constituency as its Speaker.

Source: National Population and Housing Census of Bhutan 2005.
Voter turnout
Round no 131 December 2007
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
147'789 (54.87%)

Notes Statistics for the elections on 29 January 2008
Number of registered electors: 43 480
Voters: 18 155 (41.75%)
Valid votes: 18 155
In Bhutan only the valid votes are counted. The number of votes (voters) thus equals the number of valid votes.
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Distribution of seats according to political group: Not applicable - non-partisan elections.
Four women were directly elected and two others were appointed by the King.

- http://www.election-bhutan.org.bt/
- Bhutanese Election Commission (14.01.2008)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (08.01.2008 10.01.2008 17.01.2008 30.01.2008 16.04.2008)

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