One big takeaway from the 2018 elections is that Bhutanese voters have a high level of anti-incumbency and set very high standards for our politicians.
An external observer may wonder why Bhutanese voters set such high standards for their politicians, especially in a young democracy.
The answer is close to home and even closer to Bhutanese hearts in the form of the institution of the Monarchy and the exemplary leadership of His Majesty The King.
Political parties and politicians often complain of five years not being enough, and not having enough time.
After being enthroned, His Majesty had a little over 15 months before the advent of electoral democracy and a party run government, but within this short span of time His Majesty The King instituted far reaching and deep reforms that not only provided a strong foundation for a new Bhutan but continues to benefit Bhutanese citizens to this day.
The reforms, to mention a few, were a smaller list of the Royal Family and limited use of Royal license plates, better and more efficient Land administration and large scale land Kidu, turning a group of bureaucratic oriented government companies into an efficient corporate powerhouse called DHI, nationalization of sand and stone to bring down prices, creation of GNHC for better plan implementation, creation of Royal Education Council for education reforms, Gyalpoi Tozey scholarships, RIGSS, Royal Academy and much more.
His Majesty over the years also provided strong moral support to democratic institutions like the Parliament, ECB, ACC, RAA, Local Government Media and Civil Society.
Bhutan in the past decade witnessed some major natural disasters in the form of big earthquakes and floods.
Without His Majesty’s leadership and Kidu a lot of the relief and rebuilding could have been stuck in red tape, turf issues and coordination issues as we so often see in the neighborhood.
In a volatile neighborhood and in uncertain times Bhutan is uniquely blessed to have a leader like His Majesty The King to defend the security and sovereignty of Bhutan from any external challenges, and at the same time, provide guidance, assurance and comfort to his citizens.
1st November, 2018 will mark the 10th Coronation Day anniversary of His Majesty The King, a King for whom duty and service to his Country and People is his religious faith and his life’s main and sacred purpose.
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.