Sunday, March 27, 2005

Meanwhile, in Bhutan

Just came across this heartening story from a little-known country:

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has unveiled a new constitution that will transform the absolute monarchy into a two-party democratic system.
King Jigme Singye Wangchuk says the draft will be sent to all 530,000 citizens, asking for their views.

The proposed code is the culmination of four years of preparation for democracy.

One of its suggestions is for a national council to govern the country that will be filled by members elected to the national assembly.

The constitution will replace the royal decree of 1953 that gave the king absolute power.

Chief Justice Sonam Tobgye told the BBC that the 49-year-old king wanted all Bhutan's citizens to read the draft and send in their suggestions in good time.

The king told the country's only newspaper Kuensel: "The sovereignty, stability and well-being of the country must be placed above everything else. The country is more important than the king."


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