In accordance with Article 24 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Election Commission is given the authority and responsibility for the preparation, maintenance, and periodical updating of electoral rolls, the election schedule, and the supervision, direction, control and conduct of elections in Parliament and Local Governments.
With its transition to democracy, direct adult suffrage is recognized by the Kingdom of Bhutan. It may be exercised through secret ballot during an election by a Bhutanese citizen recognized through a citizenship card. The voter should be at least eighteen years of age and a resident at a constituency at least one year prior to the elections. However, persons of unsound mind and is so declared by a competent court are disqualified from voting; so are the those who have been disqualified in accordance with the Election Act or any other law in force in Bhutan.
The conduct of elections for the Parliament and the Local Government are laid out in the Election Act of 2008.
Election to the National Assembly
The election shall be held within ninety days before the expiration of the duration of the National Assembly, so than a new National Assembly is reconstituted within the time period.
Elections to the National Assembly shall be held in two phases. In the initial phase, all registered political parties are eligible to participate and contest. The second phase shall be the General Elections, wherein the two political parties earning the highest number and the next highest number of total valid votes cast in the initial phase are declared eligible to participate by nominating candidates to contest seats in the National Assembly.
Election to the National Council
The election shall take place within ninety days before the date of expiration of duration of the National Council so as to reconstitute a new National Council within the time period.
Election to a Local Government
The election shall take place within ninety days before the date of expiration of duration of the Local Government so as to reconstitute a new Local Government within the time period.
Members of the Royal Family are prohibited from participating in the Electoral Processes, unless he/she renounces his/her status as a member of the Royal Family. Similarly, a religious personality, i.e., any religious personality or ordained members of any religion or religious institutions that are determined or registered as religious organizations or religious personalities are prohibited to participate in the electoral process or join a political party as they must remain above politics and cannot use their influence for the benefit of any party or candidate, as provided by the Religious Organizations Act 2007.
Key legal instruments used for the conduct of elections are the following:
-The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan
-Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan2008
-Public Election Fund Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008
-Delimitation of Demkhongs Rules and Regulations of the kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-ECB Social Media Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Election Advertising Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Election Dispute Settlement Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2013
-Election Security Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Election Symbols Rules of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Media Coverage of Elections Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Permissible and Non-Permissible Activities during Forty-Eight Hours before Commencement of Poll and the Poll Day Rules, 2009
-Political Party Rules of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Postal Ballot Rules and Regulations of the kingdom of Bhutan, 2013
-Public Election Fund Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-Public Transport for Elections Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012
-SMS-Based Poll Information Reporting System Rules of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2013