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Bhutan Government
Capital:
Thimphu
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
conventional short form: Bhutan
Government type:
monarchy; special treaty relationship with India
Administrative divisions:
18 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Dagana, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang
note: there may be two new districts named Gasa and Yangtse
Independence:
8 August 1949 (from India)
National holiday:
National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Constitution:
no written constitution or bill of rights; note - in 2001 the King commissioned the drafting of a constitution, which is to become effective in 2005
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; note - in late 2003 Bhutan's legislature passed a new election law, though no elections have been held
Executive branch:
chief of state: King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK (since 24 July 1972)
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote
head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Lyonpo Yeshey ZIMBA (since 20 August 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch
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: local elections last held November 2002 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results: NA
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders:
no legal parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community; United Front for Democracy (exiled)
International organization participation:
AsDB, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IMF, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
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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