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Bhutan Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
    conventional short form: Bhutan

    Data code: BT

    Government type: monarchy; special treaty relationship with India

    Capital: Thimphu

    Administrative divisions: 18 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Daga, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang

    Independence: 8 August 1949 (from India)

    National holiday: National Day, 17 December (1907) (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king)

    Constitution: no written constitution or bill of rights
    note: Bhutan uses 1953 Royal decree for the Constitution of the National Assembly

    Legal system: based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: each family has one vote in village-level elections

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK (since 24 July 1972); note—the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK (since 24 July 1972); note—the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) appointed by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly
    note: there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Tshogdu (150 seats; 105 elected from village constituencies, 10 represent religious bodies, and 35 are designated by the monarch to represent government and other secular interests; members serve three-year terms)
    elections: last held NA (next to be held NA)
    election results: NA

    Judicial branch: the Supreme Court of Appeal is the monarch; High Court, judges appointed by the monarch

    Political parties and leaders: no legal parties

    Political pressure groups and leaders: United Front for Democracy (exiled); Buddhist clergy; Indian merchant community; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign

    International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note—Bhutan has a Permanent Mission to the UN; address: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 826-1919; the Bhutanese mission to the UN has consular jurisdiction in the US
    consulate(s) general: New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy in New Delhi (India)

    Flag description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)