Bhutan transitioned from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy in 2008. His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the current King of Bhutan and he is the head of the state. The parliament consists of National Council, the upper house with 25 elected members and the National Assembly with 47 elected legislators from political parties. The cabinet consisting of council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister exercises the executive power while legislative authority is shared by the ruling Government and the National Assembly. The Chief Justice heads the judicial system.
Bhutan held its first general election in 2008. DPT party won the election by winning 45 out of 47 seats. The second general election in 2013 saw the opposition party defeating the former ruling Government.
Bhutan was admitted as a UN member in 1971. Bhutan is also the founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in 1985. Bhutan is a member of many international organizations including the IMF and the World Bank. Bhutan has diplomatic relations with 52 countries and the EU.
Bhutan’s primary foreign relation was with British India during the colonial period. When India gained its independence, this friendship was strengthened by signing a Friendship treaty between Bhutan and India. The terms of the treaty included increase in compensation for the annexation of Duars by the British Indians, India’s recognition of Bhutan as an independent state and most significant was that India would guide Bhutan’s foreign affairs however would not interfere in its internal affairs. 2007 saw a revision in the Friendship treaty which confirmed the withdrawal of India’s guidance over Bhutan’s foreign relations. Bhutan India celebrates its 50 years of friendship in 2018.
Bhutan also shares good friendship with Japan. Japan has provided Bhutan significant development assistance. Bhutan also shares strong diplomatic relations with Bangladesh. Bhutan was one of the first nations to recognize the independence of Bangladesh. Trading opportunities and increasing cooperation are being considered by the two Governments.