His Majesty The King graced the opening ceremony of the 3rd session of the Second Parliament on 16th May 2014 Addressing the Hall, His Majesty said that among the many goals that are being pursued by our country, one of the most important goals is to nurture and strengthen democracy and ensure that it benefits the country and the people.
“The prosperity of the people is a vital goal in our ultimate objective to create a harmonious and just society. Besides achieving economic success, we must also invest in enhancing the capabilities of our people so that they can shoulder greater responsibilities,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty thanked all the people who played a role in contributing to the democratic process by attending meetings at the grassroots level, and conveying their opinions, doubts and expectations to their representatives.
His Majesty said that parliamentary sessions are held meaningfully and productively as a result of people’s participation, which is the true essence of democracy.
His Majesty reminded the people that deliberation of national issues naturally involves disagreements due to differences in opinions and thoughts, which should be encouraged and supported so long as we share the same national goals and concerns for the country.
It is through such extensive deliberations that the best decisions and outcomes shall emerge,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty said that it is important for us to learn lessons from the experience of others to understand the pitfalls of democracy as we endeavor to strengthen our democracy. Some governments neglect long-term national goals and choose to derive political dividends from short-sighted decisions. The obsession to win elections or the fear of losing one drives some to forget their loyalties to the nation and also
their own personal interests and fail to serve the people as pledged. It is important for elected leaders to set the right examples and uphold high moral and ethical standards as they enjoy the confidence and trust of the people.
His Majesty cited examples where people in some countries had lost faith in law and confidence in democracy due to proliferation of laws, which were hastily enacted, poorly implemented and caused social difficulties for the people.
“We, on the other hand, are fortunate to have been born in an extraordinary nation, where democracy was brought in in an exceptional manner by His Majesty the Fourth King. We have been blessed with this incomparable opportunity to serve the Tsa Wa Sum,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty urged the 72 members of Parliament to look beyond their term in office and place the long-term interest of the people and nation foremost in their minds.
“If there comes a time when you have to forgo personal comfort and self-interest, your own conscience must guide you to take the right decision in the interest of the nation.”
His Majesty reminded the Parliament of His Majesty’s concerns regarding the challenges Address last year.
His Majesty The King Commanded the Prime Minister to lead the government, bureaucrats and the people in finding lasting solutions to address these issues expediently and comprehensively, and to realize our overarching goal of self-reliance.
His Majesty The King said that the commemoration of the 60th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth King in 2015 would be an opportunity for the people of Bhutan to pay tribute to the enlightened leadership of His Majesty the Fourth King.
“The 60th Royal Birth Anniversary celebrations will, therefore, be a fitting tribute to His Majesty’s unparalleled wisdom, and our way of pledging our commitment to honour and emulate His Majesty’s selfless dedication in service of the nation,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty The King also congratulated the people of India for conducting the 16th Lok Sabha election successfully.
The 3rd session of the Second Parliament was graced by Their Royal Highnesses Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, Princess Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck and Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck. Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark who is on a Royal Visit to Bhutan also graced the opening session.