Speech for Bhutan as CEC on 27 October 2009

"POLITICAL PARTIES: LESSONS FROM INDIAN DEMOCRACY" ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN DEMOCRACY
PRESENTATION BY
THE CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER OF INDIA, SHRI NAVIN B. CHAWLA
AT THIMPHU, BHUTAN ON 27.10.2009.

Their Excellencies the Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, Dasho Chogyal Dago Rigdzin and Aum Deki Pema.

It is a privilege and honour for me to address this distinguished audience today on the subject of “Political Parties – Lessons from Indian Democracy”.

Before I undertake to do so, I have to say how inspired I have been by the keynote address of H.E. Prime Minister Jigme Thinley on the subject of “Deepening and Sustaining Democracy in Asia” which he delivered recently at Paro, reflecting on the first parliamentary election and the enactment of your Constitution to make you the world’s youngest democracy, but more uniquely a democracy that came about by persuasion and persistence of His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The transition from monarchy to parliamentary democracy was gradual and planned, culminating in the parliamentary elections of 2008. It was a planned, peaceful and orderly transition. An important link, a link between the past and the present, is the continuing concept of Gross National Happiness and the desire to incorporate GNH in both governance and development.

While I will deliberate on the subject at hand, I would also like to leave a paper I recently delivered in Mexico, on the 2009 General Election, which I would hand over to His Excellency the Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan for the record.

I would now list historically the salient points of the role of political parties since India gained Independence in 1947.

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