Jigme Palden Dorji

Jigme Palden Dorji
1st Prime Minister of Bhutan
In office
1952 – 6 April 1964
MonarchJigme Dorji
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byJigme Thinley
Personal details
Born(1919-12-14)14 December 1919
Bhutan House, Kalimpong, India
Died6 April 1964(1964-04-06) (aged 44)
Phuntsoling Guesthouse, Bhutan
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Ashi Tsering Yangzom
Children4 (inc. Paljor Dorji)
ParentsSonam Topgay Dorji
Chuni Wangmo

Dasho Jigme Palden Dorji[1] (14 December 1919[2] – 6 April 1964)[3] was a Bhutanese politician and member of the Dorji family. By marriage, he was also a member of the House of Wangchuck.[4]

The brother-in-law of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Dorji was close to his kinsman and accompanied the future king when he lived in the United Kingdom in 1950.[5]

Appointed Chief Minister (Gongzim) in 1952,[6] he became the first man to hold the title Prime Minister of Bhutan (Lyonchen).[7] This followed the upgrading of the old position in 1958 as part of a wider series of reforms by Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.[8] As brother-in-law of the Dragon King of Bhutan Dorji helped to drive the king's modernisation policies. However his reforms antagonised both the military and the religious institutions leading to a corporal in the army assassinating him in April 1964. Namgyal Bahadur, head of the Royal Bhutan Army, was amongst those executed for the murder plot.[8]


  • King Mahendra Investiture Medal 1956.gif King Mahendra Investiture Medal (Kingdom of Nepal, 2 May 1956).[9]