In Bhutan

Bhutan: Centre for Research Initiatives

Democracy is new to the small kingdom of Bhutan. Introduced in 2008, the small Kingdom in the Himalayas has in 2013 successfully completed its second round of multiparty elections. To help foster debate and accountability of the political parties for the policies and bills introduced, the Centre for Research Initiatives has, with the support of DIPD, published a book on the first five years of democracy in Bhutan. The book entitled “”Democracy in Bhutan. The first five years 2008-13″ was launched in October 2013.

About the Book

“Democracy in Bhutan. The first five years 2008-13” is the first systematic analysis of the major events and achievements of the first democratically elected government and parliament, following the elections in 2008.

In 11 chapters, the author Gyambo Sithey, senior Researcher at CRI, takes the reader on a journey through themes like: the social political context of the new democracy; the pledges of the first government; the controversial Constituency Development Grant scheme; the relationship between the two houses of Parliament; the performance of the opposition party; the development of the media sector; and much more.

Gyambo Sithey notes that the reason for writing the book has been:

“To encourage an atmosphere of healthy debate, while practicing traditional values that has kept Bhutan together as a nation. The intention of the book is not to condemn any individual or institution but to draw lessons for the future.”

The book was launched in October 2013 in a ceremony in the Office of the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Togbay.

Background on CRI

CRI is Bhutan’s first and only private research center. The mission of CRI is to support the democratic culture through research and policy analysis and by providing open forum and making information accessible to people. With support of DANIDA, CRI documented Bhutan’s first democratic election in 2008 in the book entitled “Drukyul Decides: in the minds of Bhutanese voters”. Gyambo Sithey is presently working on the sequel to this book, which will be titled “Drukyul Decides II”.

More Information

DIPD activities in Bhutan focuses on support to a democratic political culture through media and research activities as well as support to women in politics. Other DIPD partners include Bhutan Network for Empowering WomenBhutan Centre for Media and Democracy and KCD Productions.

Read more about DIPD in Bhutan


Project Coordinator Bo Karlsen