April 20, 2023 Held


Kingdom of Bhutan

Election for Gyelyong Tshogde (Bhutanese National Council)


Cast Votes:265,441
Valid Votes:None
Invalid Votes:None


Party Seats Won Seats Change Votes

Independents 20 - 265,441


More Info:

At Stake in this Election: 

  • 20 seats of the Bhutanese National Council 

Government Structure:  

  • Chief of State: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUK (since 14 December 2006) 

  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Lotay TSHERING (since 7 November 2018) 

  • Assembly: bicameral Parliament (Chi Tsog) consisting of a 25-seat National Council (Gyelyong Tshogde) and a 47-seat National Assembly (Tshogdu) 

Electoral System:  

  • The King (Druk Gyalpo) is a hereditary monarch. 

  • The Prime Minister (typically the majority party leader) is appointed by the monarch. 

  • In the National Council, 20 members are directly elected by plurality vote in single-seat constituencies (1 for each dzongkhag), and the remaining 5 members are appointed by the King. All members serve 5-year terms. 

  • In the National Assembly, all 47 members are directly elected via a two-round system in single-seat constituencies. Members serve 5-year terms. 

Last Election: 

In 2018, independents won all 20 directly elected seats as National Council candidates cannot be political party members. Voter turnout was 54%. 

New/Unique in this Election:  

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) developed a new electoral law (Rules on Elections Conduct in the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2022) that requires candidates to meet additional qualifications (anti-corruption clearances and 5-10 years of experience), requires prior ECB approval for certain political activities conducted outside of the campaign period, and increases penalties for electoral offenses. 

Key Deadlines: 

  • Candidate filing deadline: 13 March 2023 

  • Voter registration deadline: 21 March 2023 (completion of the electoral roll) 

  • Vote-by-mail registration deadline: 15 March 2023 

Main Candidates in this Election: 

  • Independents 

  • Seats won in last election: 20 out of 20, plus 5 appointed seats 

Population and Registered Voters: 

Gender Data: 

  • CEDAW Status: Signed 17 July 1980, Ratified 31 August 1981 

  • Gender Quota:  No 

  • Female Candidates in this election: Yes 

  • Number of Female Legislators (pre-election): 8 out of 46 (17.4%) in the National Assembly & 4 out of 25 (16%) on the National Council 

  • Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 0.666, Medium, Rank 127 (2021 est.)   

Disability Data: 

IFES Resources: 

  • Does IFES have a presence in Bhutan: No  

  • Election Access: Yes 

  • Election Judgements: Yes, 5 resources