Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley is the first ever democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan. Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley assumed office in April 2008, 16 days after his party — the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) — emerged victorious in the country’s first democratic elections. His Party won all but two of the 47 seats in the National Assembly.
Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley was born on September 9, 1952. He joined the civil service in 1974 and has a masters’ degree from the Pennsylvania State University.
In February 1987, Lyonchhen was conferred the Red Scarf by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and awarded the title of Dasho. Under the zonal system in 1990, he became administrator of the Eastern Zone. Lyonchhen then became Secretary in the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in 1992 before being appointed as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in 1994, at which time he was also awarded the Orange Scarf. He was appointed as Bhutan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations office and other international organizations in Geneva in 1994.
Prior to the beginning of democracy, Lyonchhen was Prime Minister twice – in 1998 and in 2003. Lyonchhen was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1998 until 2003 and subsequently served as Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs.
Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley was awarded the Druk Thuksey medal- one of the highest civilian medals of honour, on June 2, 1999. Lyonchhen was also awarded the Druk Wangyal medal, the country’s highest award of honour, on December 17, 2008, for excellence in carrying out his duties.
Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley’s government works to base its policies on Gross National Happiness rather than purely economic considerations and, has a central focus of poverty alleviation and growth with equity and justice.