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Bhutan Politics

Political System of Bhutan

Returning from his independence, Bhutan has had an obligation to consult with India on foreign policy issues. It was therefore a problem between the two countries that a number of Indian separatist movements had set up bases in southern Bhutan. There were predominantly movements fighting for a free Assam. Assam is today a state of Inidien. The Bhutan National Assembly, therefore, passed a law in 2002 that opened up a military solution to this problem, and in December 2003, Bhutan's military launched an offensive against the ca. 30 bases that were destroyed. A military spokesman stated that this second and final phase of the offensive against the rebel movement was the most difficult. Paresh Barua who is the leader of one of the moving donkeys, the United Front for the Liberation of Assam, stated that on many occasions the military had fallen into ambush with mines and heavy fire. Also in December, two people from another of the movements were killed in northern Assam by Indian military forces, close to the border with Bhutan.

In December 2002, the government announced that it had finalized the draft First Constitution and that a series of consultative assemblies would be held to allow the country to take the first steps towards parliamentary monarchy. The most important point for further discussion is whether a multi-party system should be implemented. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how BT can stand for Bhutan.

Following international pressure, in October 2003, the governments of Bhutan and Nepal signed an agreement aimed at repatriating Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the granting of Nepalese citizenship to those who choose to remain. The agreement was rejected by 6 NGOs who were observers during the negotiations.

Following pressure from the United States, Bhutan signed an agreement in 2003 that prevents North American nationals from being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court, the ICC.

After 5 years of cable TV, in June 2004, the government debated the implementation of a law regulating the content of the broadcast programs. The move was legitimized with reference to the content of the programs already broadcast. The majority of programs - and especially for young people - are programs on violence, war and pornography. To this, the head of cable TV company Sigma, Rinzi Dorji, replied that the young people are getting used to the violent programs and that the students are already far more violent in their campuses, where there are often serious clashes.

In June 2005, the political coalition in exile, the National Front for Democracy, sharply criticized the government's draft constitution. The Front stated that the proposal was intended solely to divert attention from the country's refugee crisis. The Front further stated that even if the constitutional proposal is adopted by a referendum, there will only be a "limited democracy".

In September 2005, Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup was appointed prime minister.

In December 2005, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced that in 2008 he would abdicate in favor of his son, but already 1 year later he abdicated and handed over the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. This was subsequently crowned in November 2008. After his takeover of power, the new king actively entered the process of democratization. in the parliamentary sessions where electoral laws and land reform were discussed.

Statements by a senior government official, Bhutan from 2006 could become the largest electric power producer in Asia. During the period 2005-16, the country will export 5,000MW monthly on a monthly basis. This represents almost 45% of the total export value, and is of crucial importance to the economic development of the kingdom.

 

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