The Bhutan Peoples' Party is a democratic socialist party, currently working in exile in Nepal. Founded on June 2, 1990 in West Bengal, it was the first political party in Bhutan. The Bhutan People's Party was founded to represent the Bhutanese citizens of Nepalese origin (Lhotshampas) who felt discriminated against by the Bhutanese monarchy and under-represented in the institutions of the country. The Bhutan Peoples' Party was involved in the organization of mass protest rallies in the south of the country in September and October 1990 which spawned violence; the party was declared illegal as a terrorist group and banned from the country along with other parties formed during the same period.
On September 9, 2001, party founder and first leader R.K. Budathoki was assassinated in a small town called Damak that lies in Jhapa district of eastern Nepal and a few miles away from Beldangi refugee camps.
Still in exile in Nepal, the Bhutan Peoples' Party asked to be registered as a political party when the Bhutanese government first introduced a multiparty system. This request was turned down by the Bhutanese Election Commission in January 2008, and the party was prevented from competing in Bhutan's first ever elections in March 2008. Indeed, only two "loyal" (pro-monarchy) parties were allowed to compete.