List of prime ministers of Bhutan

Prime Minister of of Kingdom of Bhutan
Incumbent
Tshering Tobgay
since 28 January 2024
AppointerJigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
as King of Bhutan
Inaugural holderUgyen Dorji
(Chief Minister)
Jigme Palden Dorji
(Prime Minister)
Formation1907 (Chief Minister)
1952 (Prime Minister)
Salary3,053,094 Bhutanese ngultrum/$37,365 USD annually (2015)[1]

The prime minister of Bhutan (Lyonchhen) is the head of government of Bhutan. The prime minister is nominated by the party that wins the most seats in the National Assembly (Gyelyong Tshogdu) and heads the executive cabinet, called the Council of Ministers (Lhengye Zhungtshog).

On 9 April 2008, Jigme Thinley became the first ever elected prime minister; he took office following the country's first democratic election.[2][3]

The current prime minister is Tshering Tobgay, since 28 January 2024.

Prime ministers of the Kingdom of Bhutan

Druk Desis (1650–1906)

Below appears the list of Druk Desis throughout the existence of the office. Officeholders were initially appointed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, though after his death the Je Khenpo and civil government decided appointments.

Italics indicate coregencies and caretaker governments, which are not traditionally separately numbered.

A photo of the 54th Druk Desi, Choley Yeshe Ngodub.
Druk Desis of Bhutan
No. Name Date of Birth Reign start Reign end Date of Death
1 Tenzin Drukgye 1591 1650 1655 1655
2 Langonpa Tenzin Drukdra 1655 1667 1667
3 Chhogyel Minjur Tempa 1613 1667 1680 1680
4 Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgye 1638 1680 1694 1696
5 Gedun Chomphel 1695 1701 1701
6 Ngawang Tshering 1701 1704
7 Umze Peljor 1704 1707 1707
8 Druk Rabgye 1707 1719 1729
9 Ngawang Gyamtsho 1719 1729 1729
10 Mipham Wangpo 1729 1736
11 Khuwo Peljor 1736 1739
12 Ngawang Gyaltshen 1739 1744
13 Sherab Wangchuk 1744 1763
14 Druk Phuntsho 1763 1765
15 Wangzob Druk Tenzin I 1765 1768
16 Sonam Lhundub .Druk Desi Sonam Lhundub was the first Bhutanese ruler to confront British power, losing in a power bid in Cooch Behar, a traditional Bhutanese dependency. 1768 1773 1773
17 Kunga Rinchen 1773 1776
18 Jigme Singye 1742 1776 1788 1789
19 Druk Tenzin 1788 1792
20 Umzey Chapchhab 1792 1792 1792
21 Chhogyel Sonam Gyaltshen (Tashi Namgyel) 1792 1799
22 Druk Namgyel 1799 1803
23 Chhogyel Sonam Gyaltshen (Tashi Namgyel)
(2nd reign)
1803 1805
24 Sangye Tenzin 1805 1806
25 Umzey Parob 1806 1808
26 Byop Chhyoda 1807 1808
27 Tulku Tsulthrim Daba 1790 1809 1810 1820
28 Zhabdrung Thutul (Jigme Dragpa) 1810 1811
29 Chholay Yeshey Gyaltshen 1781 1811 1815 1830
30 Tshaphu Dorji Namgyel 1815 1815
31 Sonam Drugyel 1815 1819
32 Gongzim Tenzin Drukda 1819 1823
33 Chhoki Gyaltshen 1823 1831
34 Dorji Namgyal 1831 1832
35 Adab Thinley 1832 1835
36 Chhoki Gyaltshen
(2nd reign)
1835 1838
37 Dorji Norbu 1838 1850
38 Wangchuk Gyalpo 1850 1850
39 Zhabdrung Thutul (Jigme Norbu)
(in Thimphu)
1850 1852
Chagpa Sangye
(in Punakha)
1851 1852
40 Damchho Lhundrup 1852 1854
41 Jamtul Jamyang Tenzin 1854 1856
42 Kunga Palden
(in Punakha)
1856 1860
Sherab Tharchin
(in Thimphu)
1856 1860
43 Phuntsho Namgyel (Nazi Pasang) 1860 1863
44 Tshewang Sithub 1863 1864
Tsulthrim Yonten 1864 1864
45 Kagyud Wangchuk 1864 1864
46 Tshewang Sithub
(2nd reign)
1865 1867
47 Tsondul Pekar 1867 1870
48 Jigme Namgyel 1825 1870 1873 1881
49 Kitshab Dorji Namgyel 1873 1879
Jigme Namgyel
(2nd reign)
1877 1878
Kitshab Dorji Namgyel
(2nd reign)
1878 1879
50 Chhogyel Zangpo March 1879 June 1880 1880
Jigme Namgyel
(3rd reign)
June 1880 July 1881
51 Lam Tshewang 1836 July 1881 May 1883 1883
52 Gawa Zangpo May 1883 August 1885
53 Sangay Dorji 1885 1901 1901
54 Choley Yeshe Ngodub 1851 1903 1906 1917
Notes:

Chief ministers (Gongzim)

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office King
(Reign)
Took office Left office Tenure
1 Raja
Ugyen Dorji
(1855–1916)
1907 1916
[a]
c. 8–9 years Ugyen

(1907–1926)
2 Raja
Sonam Topgay Dorji
(1896–1953)
1917 1952 c. 34–35 years
Jigme

(1926–1952)

Prime ministers (Lyonchen)

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Election Cabinet King
(Reign)
Took office Left office Tenure
1 Jigme Palden Dorji
(1919–1964)
1952 6 April 1964
[b]
c. 11–12 years Independent Jigme Dorji

(1952–1972)
Vacant (6 April 1964–25 July 1964)
Lhendup Dorji
(1935–2007)
Acting Prime Minister
[c]
25 July 1964 27 November 1964 125 days Independent
Post Abolished (27 November 1964–20 July 1998)
Jigme Singye

(1972–2006)
2 Jigme Thinley
(born 1952)
1st time
20 July 1998 9 July 1999 354 days Independent
3 Sangay Ngedup
(born 1953)
1st time
9 July 1999 20 July 2000 1 year, 11 days Independent
4 Yeshey Zimba
(born 1952)
1st time
20 July 2000 8 August 2001 1 year, 19 days Independent
5 Khandu Wangchuk
(born 1950)
1st time
8 August 2001 14 August 2002 1 year, 6 days Independent
6 Kinzang Dorji
(born 1951)
1st time
14 August 2002 30 August 2003 1 year, 16 days Independent
(2) Jigme Thinley
(born 1952)
2nd time
30 August 2003 18 August 2004 354 days Independent
(4) Yeshey Zimba
(born 1952)
2nd time
18 August 2004 5 September 2005 1 year, 18 days Independent
(3) Sangay Ngedup
(born 1953)
2nd time
5 September 2005 7 September 2006 1 year, 2 days Independent
(5) Khandu Wangchuk
(born 1950)
2nd time
7 September 2006 31 July 2007 327 days Independent
Jigme Khesar Namgyel

(2006–present)
(6) Kinzang Dorji
(born 1951)
2nd time
31 July 2007 9 April 2008 253 days Independent
Democratically elected
(2) Jigme Thinley
(born 1952)
3rd time
9 April 2008 28 April 2013 5 years, 19 days DPT 2008 2008 Thinley Cabinet
Sonam Tobgye
(born 1949)
Chief Advisor
28 April 2013 27 July 2013 90 days Independent 2013 Tobgye Interim Cabinet
7 Tshering Tobgay
(born 1965)
1st time
27 July 2013 9 August 2018 5 years, 13 days PDP 2013 2013 Tobgay Cabinet
Tshering Wangchuk
(born 19??)
Chief Advisor
9 August 2018 7 November 2018 90 days Independent 2018 Wangchuk Interim Cabinet
8 Lotay Tshering
(born 1968)
7 November 2018 1 November 2023 4 years, 359 days DNT 2018 2018 Tshering Cabinet
Chogyal Dago Rigdzin
(born 19??)
Chief Advisor
1 November 2023 28 January 2024 88 days Independent 2023 Rigdzin Interim Cabinet
(7) Tshering Tobgay
(born 1965)
2nd time
28 January 2024 Incumbent 24 days PDP 2023–24 2024 Tobgay Cabinet

Notes

  1. ^ Died in office.
  2. ^ Assassinated by a corporal of the Royal Bhutan Army.
  3. ^ Brother of Jigme Palden Dorji.

References

  1. ^ "15 Highest Paid Asian Political Leaders 2015". Pinoy Thaiyo. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  2. ^ Wangchuk, Rinzin (12 April 2008). "New PM Takes Office". Kuensel Online. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Thinley Takes Over as Premier". The Hindu. 11 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2011.

See also

External links

  • Official Website of the Government of Bhutan
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