Monday, 21 July 2008

Bhutan : Bhutan's transition to democracy is now complete with the adoption of the Constitution

July 19: Yesterday was a momentous day in our history as we complete an unprecedented democratic transition led by Their Majesties the Kings. His Majesty the King led the nation in a special ceremony in the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong that brought the Constitution into effect.

His Majesty the King was received by the Venerable Lopens of the Zhung Dratshang, Thimphu Dzongkhag and judiciary officials at the entrance of the second gate to Tashichhodzong.

Upon arrival at the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong, His Majesty the King was received by the Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley, the National Assembly Speaker Tshogpeon Jigme Tshultim, the Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay, the Chairperson of the National Council Namgay Penjore and the Cabinet Ministers.

His Majesty the King then proceeded to the Goenkhang and offered prayers. Following this, His Majesty proceeded to the Kuenrey of the Tashichhodzong.

His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, their Majesties the Queens and their Royal Highnesses the princes and princesses also graced the historic ceremony.

Parliamentarians, senior government officials, former ministers, judiciary officials, Druk Thuksey recipients, representatives of the armed forces and members of the international community also attended the ceremony.

Addressing the gathering, His Majesty the King said the Constitution is the most profound achievement of generations of endeavour and service.

Following His Majesty’s address, the Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, the Chief Justice Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye submitted the Constitution to His Majesty the King to affix his hand and seal.

The members of the parliament then appended their signatures on the Constitution.

This was followed by a Zhugdrel Pheunsum Tshogpa and Marchang and recitation of Deshe Tenpa by the members of parliament and others present at the ceremony.

The ceremony ended with the Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley offering khaddar to His Majesty the King. The Constitution was then opened for public viewing.

Later in the afternoon, the appended Constitution was escorted to the National Assembly Hall at the Gyalyong Tshokhang in a simple procession.

At the National Assembly Hall, the Speaker Tshogpoen Jigme Tsultim placed the Constitution before the Golden Throne. The members of the parliament then recited Deshe Tenpa.

Speaking to BBS the people who had gathered in the courtyard of the Tashichhodzong said the day is a historic and solemn occasion to pledge to serve His Majesty the King and the country with unwavering loyalty and dedication.

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