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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Bhutan - April 2023

National Council elections held

Bhutan’s National Council (NC) elections were held on 20 April. Voter turnout was at a historic high of 54.64 per cent (compared to 54.29 per cent in the 2018 NC elections), despite concerns that postal ballot restrictions and the removal of postal ballot facilitation booths would negatively impact turnout. While experiencing a drop in voter participation between 2008-2013, voter turnout has increased gradually for each NC election cycle due to key electoral reforms introduced by the Election Commission. Overall, two out of ten contesting incumbents returned, with eighteen new members elected to the council. The election failed to advance women’s representation, with only one woman out of five aspiring candidates elected to the 20-member NC, compared to two women elected in the last 2018 NC election. Parties are now gearing up for the National Assembly elections expected to be held later this year.

Sources: Kuensel, Bhutan Times, Election Commission of Bhutan

Primary categories and factors
Representation 0 Representation  (0)
Credible Elections
Rights -1 Rights  (-1)
Political Equality
Gender Equality
Participation +1 Participation  (+1)
Electoral Participation