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Pillar 4: Good Governance

 

"The destiny of Bhutan lies in the hands of its people" 

H.M the 4th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck

 

An individual’s quest for happiness, and inner and outer freedoms, is the most precious endeavor.

It follows then that society’s idea of governance and polity should promote this endeavor. The country is dedicated to establishing a system of governance that promotes well-being and happiness of its citizens. His Majesty the King continues to guide the country towards the fulfillment of that vision in the evolution of its political and social structures, encompassing both the strengths of the country’s resilient and ancient society, and genuine virtues of democracy.

Even before the advent of modernization in 1961, the country consisted of self-reliant and selfsubsistent communities, possessing well-defined community based rules and institutions to facilitate the use of common resources. In 1981, the fourth King initiated a vigorous program of administrative and political decentralization. The decentralization policy has enhanced the democratic powers, social responsibilities, transparent processes, and structures of villages and communities to make decisions at the grass-root levels. The Royal Government and its institutions continue making every effort to serve the people with integrity, accountability and transparency.

The greatest change in the devolution of power took place in June 1998 when His Majesty the 4th King voluntarily devolved full executive powers to a Council of Ministers elected by the National Assembly. On the 15th day of the 10th Bhutanese month corresponding to November 30, 2001 the 4th King took another historic step. He commanded the drafting of the constitution of the country by the drafting committee of the constitution. The scope and the magnitude of the initiative were unprecedented. While addressing the committee members a day earlier, His Majesty stated: “It is my duty, as the King, to strengthen the nation so that the people can develop in security and peace, and the nation becomes more prosperous and secure than before."

The year 2008 is momentous in all aspects in the history of Bhutan, and so in political developments and good governance. Institutional arrangements are in place to support the policy of good governance and recent developments over the year have demonstrated the effective and complete transition of the national polity to a democratic constitutional monarchy.