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Bhutan observes international Day of Democracy

Sep 15, 2012

The nation today joined the global community to observe the International Day of Democracy with a theme Democracy Education. The day was first observed in 2007 as decided by the United Nations General Assembly.

To mark the day, the Parliament and the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, organized a panel discussion, on the theme, “Democracy Education: Understanding Rights & Responsibilities”. The event was supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The Chief Justice Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay graced the event.

Bhutan embarked on a journey of democratic transition in 2008.

Resident Representative of the UNDP Claire Van der Vaeren, said in many countries around the world, democracy is the result of a cry from the people. “In Bhutan it has come about as vision of an enlightened Monarch, His majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.” She said today it is an important day for the people of Bhutan to influence their development as they move further and further into modernization, economic and social development. “It is very important for people to begin to learn their role, their rights and their responsibilities in bringing about a modern Bhutan.”

The Opposition Leader, Tshering Tobgay, said the first and foremost challenge of democracy is the people voting. “The electorate must vote sincerely, and select their representatives honestly.” He said the second challenge is for the electorate, for the people, to hold the people they so elect, responsible.

The works and human settlements minister, Yeshey Zimba said as far as the system and the procedures of democracy goes, they are all well established now. “What remains to be done is basically to inculcate and strengthen democratic culture now. That has to happen at every level in society, not only among the ordinary people but those who govern, those who are governed, the media, all need to learn the same values.”


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