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National Council (Bhutan)

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National Council (Bhutan)

National Council
གི་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་ཚོགས་སྡེ་
Gyelyong Tshogde
Type
Type
Leadership
Chairperson of the National Council
[Dr. Sonam Kinga]
since 31 December 2007 & 29 January 2008
Structure
Seats 25
Political groups
Non-partisan (20)
Appointed (5)
Elections
Last election
31 December 2007 & 29 January 2008
Meeting place
Gyelyong Tshokhang, Thimphu
Website
Official Website of the National Council of Bhutan
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bhutan

The National Council is the upper house of Bhutan's new bicameral Parliament, which also comprises the Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and the National Assembly. It is the subordinate house, and cannot author monetary or budget-related bills. Besides creating and reviewing Bhutanese legislation, the National Council acts as the house of review on matters affecting the security, sovereignty, or interests of Bhutan that need to be brought to the notice of the Druk Gyalpo, the Prime Minister and the National Assembly. Twenty members of the first Council were elected in the first ever elections for the Council held on December 31, 2007 and January 29, 2008.

Membership

The National Council consists of twenty-five members. Twenty members are elected by the electorates of the twenty dzongkhags, while five members are nominated by the Druk Gyalpo. The members cannot belong to any political party, and should have the minimum qualification of a graduation from a recognised university.[1] (Art. 11)

The members of the first National Council were generally young, many of them aged below 40. This is reportedly[2] due to the fact that only persons holding a degree were allowed to be candidates, and that access to formal education is relatively recent in Bhutan.

History

The National Council was preceded by the Royal Advisory Council (Lodey Tshogdey), mentioned in [3]

The first Cabinet of Bhutan consisted of the Royal Advisory Council along with the Council of Ministers (now the Lhengye Zhungtshog).[4] Its members were collectively responsible to His Majesty the King and the National Assembly (Tshogdu).[4]

The National Council was established in 2008 under Article 11 of the Constitution of Bhutan, which does not mention the Royal Advisory Council. The subsequent National Council Act of 2008 codified the National Council's independent statutory basis.[5] Part of this framework included an explicit repeal of "all other laws in relation to the Royal Advisory Council."[5] The National Council Act sets forth qualifications; meeting, presentment, debate, and voting procedures; committee and rulemaking authority; and censure, removal, and other penalties for the members of the National Council.[5] The Act also establishes a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, and a royally appointed Secretary General for the administration of the National Council.[5]

The first joint sitting of Parliament, including the National Council, was held from May 8 to May 30, 2008. The first session of the National Council was held from June 17 to July 24, 2008.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan (English)" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  2. ^ "Main Bhutan election date is set", Subir Bhaumik, BBC, January 17, 2008
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Bhutan – Structure of the Government". Country Studies. Country Studies US. 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Constitution of Bhutan". Constitutions of All Countries.  
  5. ^ a b c d "National Council Act 2008" (PDF).  
  6. ^ "About Us". National Council of Bhutan online.  

External links

  • "National Council of Bhutan". Government of Bhutan. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
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