Our democracy

bridgeYesterday, HRH Ashi Sonam Dechan Wangchuck inaugurated a workshop entitled “Democracy in our Place”. During this important workshop, participates will discuss various concepts about democracy and good governance.

In her royal address, HRH observed that many of us readily declare that “democracy must succeed in Bhutan.” But for democracy to succeed, HRH commanded that “…it must be relevant to the lives of the citizens, and most importantly it must be beneficial to them.”

A gentle reminder for all of us.

The workshop, which is being conducted in Hotel Zhiwaling, is organised by the Election Commission of Bhutan. You’ll find the full text of the Royal Address here.


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  1. But the successful transition of democracy was marred by two events. One: a group of PDP who has petitioned to surrender democracy when they lost to DPT and second the opposition party wanting to resign from their constituency in the beginning when the results were out.
    These two infamous acts will go into the history of Bhutan as an unrationale behaviour of the PDPs. They could not at all take the loss or rather could not take the fact that the people did not want them simply put. Perhaps Historians will revisit these two behaviours and ask DOKCHOK Lynpo as to why he wanted to resign?

    • You do not read the newspapers or what? DHOCHOK Lyonpo explained in detail in 2008 on TV and in the papers why the 2 PDP candidates offered their resignation. These events you mention will never go down in history as they are too minor and insignificant. What will go down in history and what PM will have to answerr to historians is the continuous blunders of the first elected government of Bhutan. The list is endless and I do not have to mention as everyone knows.

      • What blunders, can someone educate me please. I agree with Deki, they were sulking and playing spoilt sport.

    • What is your problem? In order to make us understand how our Monarchs worked tirelessly to introduce democracy and how they continue to work hard to make democracy a success in Bhutan, OL posted the royal address here for all of us who didn’t have the opportunity to attend the important event. You totally hijacked the purpose of this post by politicizing it and making it a DPT – PDP issue. Why can’t you just appreciate and be proud of our royal family for their noble initiatives and valuable support for the well being of our country and our people. Obviously you are a DPT supporter. Unless it is DPT’s secret strategy to undermine all such initiatives from our Monarchs and their family, you shouldn’t be politicizing such important initiatives.

  2. First let me state that I voted for DPT during elections. I agree with Tashi. Historians should record how un-transparent the DPT government and parliament was/is and what a bunch of self-servers they have proved to be from day one since they came to power. Historians should ask the DPT why there is so much difference between their statements in their mainfesto and what they are doing in reality. Instead, the ruling government is setting a very bad precedent for other parties that come to power to follow, and this is what will ruin democracy in our country in future. I do not see a successful democracy taking root in Bhutan for another 3 years or so with the DPT government bullying everything in its path such as: National Council, Media, Royal Bhutan Police, etc. etc. etc. Historians will note that DPT got such a huge mandate (over 90% of the NA seats) form the people of Bhutan but flopped it after they came to power because they only thought of themselves.

  3. Let the people be the judge and the results of the next GE their verdict on the performance of DPT. No Tashis and Dechens can change that. Right now, the best you can do for PDP is to put 100% effort to build its image so that next time round, they wil get 100% more seats – which will work out to 4!!!

  4. an important reflection. especially when u hear arguments such as “we need state funding for political parties for the survival of democracy”. then u think. Democracy is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

  5. Pro democracy says

    Nothing has marred the elections more than the results of the elections itself. No events or individuals in the post election era would be able to overwhelm the landslide victory.

    History is written by victors and in that, may be, the PDP will be portrayed poorly, if history at all will be written. But the blunder of the PDP, if we can so term it, has been failing to do any soul searching following such a shameful defeat. While things they alleged against DPT may or may not be true, there could have been things within the control of the PDP which the leadership of the PDP failed to notice or accept.

    As the new president of the PDP, the OL has the moral responsibility to look back and in utmost honesty find what went wrong. It would not only be good for the party but also for the country as a nascent democracy.

    As for the current state of our democracy, it is going great. As citizens we would have to worry if the media praises the government all the time or if the opposition carries out horse trading with the government behind closed doors. The fact remains that everyone is disagreeing is a better sign than if all are agreeing with the ruling government. THe OL and the media therefore are to be commended for this.

    No comments on the DPT government. I would reserve for a later date, somewhere may be when they cross the midway into mandate.

  6. Woa! … What a bunch of unhappy folks here! :-))

    Let’s learn from our mistakes, so the “history” won’t repeat itself. And, let’s keep moving forward to build a better democracy that is relevant for and beneficial for the people, as HRH reminded us.

    As we do so, there is one mistake we should avoid making: to expect our elected leaders to be perfect.
    None of us are angels, after all … !

  7. Oye Aum Zekom, I would rather you keep that “BUNch of Unhappy” comment to yourself. We are not siding PDP nor DPT but putting things into perspective. Bhutan is not perfect either but critical comments can shape and redefine itself.

  8. PDP didn’t lose but the people of Bhutan did by making the biggest blunder of not understanding the meaning of democracy. Hopefully the blunders will not be repeated. We learn through mistakes and mistakes of the 1st election is crystal clear and hopefully our people will choose wisely next round.

    We r paying our price for our blunders and bureacrats should not meddle with innocent people’s minds. let them make their choice!!!!!!

  9. Wow! What a good discussion, interesting discussion here. By reading all these i felt like to share few. But firstly, I salute to the royal highness and all our kings especially to 4th and fifth Kings.
    Yeah, we, the people of Bhutan really made a great mistake in voting. If not there should not be that difference in the members of the parties.We have only two members in the opposition party, that is sad. There are very capable person in PDP left unelected. We the people may have understood that if a party have to rule the country, all members must won the election.Rural people may have taken this way, so the difference came in the no. of members. Anyway hope people will learn through thier mistake now.

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