Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Bhutan : Session ends, era starts

30 July, 2008 - With the blessings of the guardian deities, the enlightened guidance of the Druk Gyalpo, and the good fortune of the people, Bhutan continues to thrive through the ages, according to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Tshogpon Jigmi Tshultrim. The first session of parliament in the Democratic Constitutional Monarchy system of government, from May 8 to July 29, took some important steps through Bhutanese history.

After the draft was debated, between May 9 and 29, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan was signed on July 18, an auspicious day identified by the astrologers. In the weeks that followed the parliament passed six bills: the National Council Act, National Assembly Act, Election Act, Election Fund Act, Parliamentary Entitlements Act, and the National Referendum Act.

In addition, the parliament passed the 2008-09 national budget, the agreements for the SAARC Food Bank and the South Asia University. The government was instructed to review the rules on the sale of meat and the ban on the sale of tobacco and plastics to ensure that they were being enforced.

At the closing session of the parliament, attended by His Majesty the King, Tshogpon Jigmi Tshultrim said that, having been given the sacred responsibility of an historic transition, failure was not an option for the parliamentarians. He said that the parliament pledged to achieve the goals mandated by the vision of Gross National Happiness.

In the concluding moment of the session yesterday, the members of parliament gathered around the Golden Throne in a prayer for the continued stability and sovereignty of the kingdom, the health and long life of His Majesty the King, and the happiness of the Bhutanese people.

His Majesty the King hosted a lunch, with games and entertainment, for the parliamentarians to celebrate the conclusion of the historic session and the beginning of a new political era.

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