The political system of Bhutan has evolved over time together with its tradition and culture. Before 1616, Bhutan is under a fragmented and disoriented system, ruled by different chieftains, local lords and clans.
Under the leadership of Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal, a Tibetan lama of the Drukpa School, Bhutan was unified in 1616. He introduced the dual system of administration, where the Desids (appointed by the Council of Ministers and Central Monastic Body) looks after the temporal affairs and the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) looks after the spiritual matters.
In 1907, the people of Bhutan unanimously enthroned Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck as the First King of Bhutan. He proved to be the man who brought together the different Dzongpons and Penlops (governors of fortress) and brought peace to Bhutan when serving as the Governor of Trongsa (Trongsa Penlop). Since then, the country was ruled by the monarchy of Wangchuck dynasty.
Between 1907 and 1953, Bhutan was ruled as a constitutional monarch. Since 1953, to ensure the governance of the country to be more democratic, the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck instituted the National Assembly (Tshogdu) with elected members representing every administrative unit.
In 1998, the devolution of the power of the King to the cabinet ministers was the highest form of decentralization. The 4th King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, was served as the Head of the State while the government is managed by the Prime Minister.
2008 was a historic year for Bhutan. Bhutanese celebrated the coronation of King Jigme Kesar Namgyel, the 5th monarch of Bhutan, and the achievements of the 4th King. Besides, the first election of the country’s government was also held in 2008.
The present Bhutanese government consists of the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive. The ruling political party, the opposition and the National Council forms the legislative body.