His Majesty the King’s address to the Prime Minister and Ministers

The Royal address was on the occasion of His Majesty the King conferring dakyen to the Prime Minister and dhar to the Cabinet Ministers on 27th july 2013        

“Firstly, I would like to extend my felicitations to all the members of the second democratically elected parliament. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all the political parties as well as the people who have eagerly participated and served in such a historical event. It is very important to remember in the politics of a democratic country especially during election periods, tensions and complications will definitely arise. Such complications arose during the first democratic elections in 2008 and similarly it arose in this year’s elections as well. People divided themselves into categories of “us” and “them”, some ended up happy and some, sad. Even though such complications naturally arise, it is very important for the people to get along like a family living under one roof.

The institution of democracy is a very new one, having been established only in 2008. Even then, within a short span of time we have gained new knowledge and experience. It is important to further strengthen this democratic process in the years to come. In 2008 my father, the Fourth King and I have established the democratic process. I take this opportunity to remind us of the goal of such an establishment. The most important goal of democracy is to emphasize on the institution of law; as a result of which good governance can be established. Through good governance, equality and justice can be established in order to achieve national goals and aspirations. Peace, prosperity and harmony for the people is the end goal through such means.

It is common to hear on television that democracy is a gift from the throne to the people. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that it is not a gift but rather it is a responsibility given to the people from the kings to further strengthen our country.

The meaning of democracy takes different forms and interpretations. Let me take this opportunity to be very honest concerning diverse undertakings in a democracy. For some, democracy is a platform for personal ambitions. By contributing either personal time and energy, labor or wealth to a particular political party, democracy is seen as an opportunity to mobilize through the system easier without considering the process of law and merit. Whether it is business licenses and opportunities, status, positions, foreign trips, education abroad, etc. The five years of democratic rule by the winning political party can be taken as an opportunity by the supporter for such personal ambitions. The losing parties on the other hand experience fear, disappointment and embarrassment. Such democratic practices are something that should never prevail in Bhutan. It is an example of corrupt practices that is rampant in other countries. It is important to hand over a good democracy to our future generations without such corrupt practices.

Today, as the People’s Democratic Party takes this opportunity to form the ruling government I hope you all will prove that a system without such corrupt practices and divisions can exist. The party in the next five years will receive my full support as well as that of the people. Such opportunity is historical and I hope everyone will take their duties seriously. During the political campaigns, many candidates expressed their genuine concern and enthusiasm to serve the people and country free of personal interests and ambition. Such sincerity is admirable but it is important to match promises with actions. I hope in the next five years, such promises will be met with humility and hard work keeping in mind the overall interest of the country.

Presently the work of the Eleventh Year Plan is very important. Financial support in abundance is important for this plan. We are currently facing shortage of Rupees. It is also important to clear off our national loans. With changing times many new challenges arises. It is necessary to provide our young people not only with education but employment according to education. Starting from housing for the people, the need to provide opportunities for the people is dire.

In our country; some people live in rural areas, some live in the urban areas, some migrate from rural to urban areas, some become rich, some remain poor. Even with such diverse conditions it is possible for the king, government and people to all contribute equally to strengthening the country. It is important to strengthen the people and not only the country. So, today, I hand over this responsibility to the new parliamentarians. I hope the 2nd democratically elected parliamentarians will work hard to achieve such goals. The biggest challenge that exists in our country is corruption. I hope the new government will be able to curb corruption in the system from the very start. If the government works hard, the government will have the full support of the King and country. On the other hand, It is also the responsibility of the King and people to provide constructive criticisms to the government.

So today, during this auspicious occasion, I would like to offer my felicitations to the New Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliamentarians. As a King, I have always tried to serve our people, with no fear and reservations and always keeping the National Interest at heart. During my service, from old parents to young kids have shown me much love and support; for which I am grateful. Even from now the parliamentarians and I pledge to serve the country with much sincerity and dedication.”

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