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On 17th December 1907, the civil and monastic representatives unanimously crowned Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan. In 1926 his son Jigme Wangchuck succeeded Ugyen Wangchuck. The third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck began a campaign of modernization and expansion of Bhutan’s government and society based on the accomplishments of his two predecessors in uniting the country under a strong central authority. Hence, the National Assembly consisting of representatives of the people, the Monastic order and civil administration was established in 1953. The Monastic Body comprises of the Central Monastic Body and the Rabdeys (Dzongkhag Monastic Body). The Monastic Body is the sole arbiter on religious matters. The Je-Khenpo (Chief Abbots) is the head of the monastic body and is responsible for the nation’s religious affairs. He is chosen from among high ranking monks.

The fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuk became the King in 1972. His Majesty’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness guided Bhutan into the 21st century. The Fourth Druk Gyalpo initiated the drafting of Bhutan’s first Constitution in 2001 and was eventually enacted in 2008. The King abdicated the throne in favor of the crown prince in 2006. The fifth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck acceded to the throne on December 14, 2006 and was crowned on November 6, 2008. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is elected from the ruling political party. The National Assembly (Gyelyong Tshogdu) consists of 47 members who are elected representatives from the 47 Constituencies. The National Council was established in 2008 under Article 11 of the Constitution of Bhutan. There are 25 members of which 20 are elected by the people from 20 Dzongkhags and the remaining 5 are nominated by His Majesty, the Druk Gyalpo.


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