Local Government

Local Government

Administratively, the country is divided into 20 Dzongkhags (Districts) composed of 202 Gewogs (Blocks). At the district, block and village levels there are established mechanisms that ensure people participation in the decision- making process. On the initiative of His Majesty, the decentralisation of administration was implemented in 1981 through the establishment of Dzongkhag Yaergye Tshogchungs (District Development Council or DYT). It was followed by further decentralisation to the Block level in 1991 with the introduction of the Gewog Yargye Tshogchungs (Block Development Council or GYT). DYTs and GYTs have been set up in all Districts and Blocks. Under the present King leadership and guidance, the strengthening of these national and local institutions and devolution of power from the Centre have led to people active participation, thus enabling them to play a greater role in decision-making processes.

Local administration has been strengthened to meet the requirement of decentralized administration and development. All the Districts, are under the charge of a Dzongda (District Administrator) responsible for civil administration and development activities. Each District Administrator is assisted by a Dzongrab (Deputy District Administrator) and various sector officials who are responsible for planning, development and civil administration. The larger Districts are divided into Dungkhags (Sub-District) headed by Dungpa (Head of sub-district). A group of villages or a Gewog (Block) is the lowest administrative unit and each Block has a village headman called the Gup. In each district, the District Administrator is assisted in his development function by the District Development Council (DYT) which consists of people representatives and government officials.

Except a few nominated members, all other members of the Tshogdu (National Assembly), Lodey Tshogdey (Royal Advisory Council, 9 members), DYTs (572 members) and GYTs (3,337 members), are elected by the people by way of simple majority or secret ballot when required.