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Bhutan currently has five political parties that are officially registered:
The People's Democratic Party was founded on March 24, 2007.
The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa came into being as a merger of the Bhutan People's United Party and the All People's Party on July 25, 2007. Both of these parties have been registered with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB). However, the application of the Bhutan People's United Party (revived again by a breakaway faction of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) for registration was rejected by the ECB on November 27, 2007.
The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa was registered on January 20, 2013. The first party president was Dorji Choden who resigned following the party's elimination in the first round of the 2013 National Assembly Elections to join the People's Democratic Party.
The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa was registered on January 7, 2013. The party president is Lily Wangchuck.
The following parties are all based in exile.
On August 26, 2010, Bhutanese political parties in exile formed an umbrella group to pursue a "unified democratic movement led by Rongthong Kunley Dorji, President of the Druk National Congress. The group's offices opened in Kathmandu in November 2010, and it seems to receive some measure of support from the Nepalese government.
Political parties are regulated under the Constitution of 2008. The Constitution sets forth a multi-party system under which two parties at a time occupy either ruling or opposition positions in the National Assembly. All other government bodies are non-partisan. Substantive and procedural requirements for all political parties, such as registration, are codified in Article 15. The Article also sets forth sets of mandated and prohibited practices, two examples of the latter being receipt of money or assistance from outside Bhutan and political association on the basis of religion, region, or ethnicity.