‘Even I didn’t want democracy in Bhutan’, says PM Tobgay


Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, who has been in the United States in his nine-day visit, has told that even he didn’t want democracy in Bhutan referring to the fourth King’s decision to abdicate the throne allowing Jigme Khesar to rule the country in 2006.

“The entire kingdom was not happy when the fourth King decided to quit the throne,” Tobgay told in an interview with popular American television host, Charlie Rose. “People didn’t want democracy. I didn’t want democracy”

PM Tobgay with Charlie Rose Picture courtesy: The Prime Minister's Facebook
PM Tobgay with Charlie Rose
Picture courtesy: The Prime Minister’s Facebook

According to his claim, the fourth king repeatedly told citizens that no one was guaranteed to be good for the country.

“And, for the longterm in interest of the country and people, we have to accept democracy,” the prime minister further claimed quoting the fourth king as telling his citizens.

Tobgay, who rejected a statement that the Bhutan’s democracy is in transition state, maintained that the “country isn’t in transition”. He added, “We are a full democracy with democratic constitution. We are a vibrant democracy.”

PM Tobgay also expressed his desire to “serve” the country for the second term as well claiming that ruling the country was a “sense of sense of service”.

In the 25-minute-long interview, Tobgay was seen using varying statistics to misrepresent Bhutan’s population.

According to his claim, Bhutan’s population in early 1960s was 500,000 or 600,000 as he stated the current population is around 750,000. However, it should be noted here that when Bhutan became a member of the United Nations in 1971, the country claimed population of 1.2 million. Even, the King Jigme Khesar claimed in 2008 that the country had a population of just around 600,000 people.    

Major part of the interview focussed on the Bhutanese kings and their so-called ‘King Gifted’ democracy and liberal efforts to govern the country.