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The First Universal Suffrage Election, at County (Gewog) Level, in Bhutan

  • Ura, Karma
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    Following a Royal Edict to adopt universal suffrage in election for local government institutions, maiden elections were held in 199 gewogs (counties) in Bhutan in 2002 to elect their chief executives. This paper gives an account of this first time event in a country where most villagers had never seen secret ballots and poll booths. It synthesizes detailed data, mostly qualitative, collected soon after the election was over, and assesses aspects of electoral participation that His Majesty the King of Bhutan has introduced steadily to deepen democracy. Beginning with a glance at the territorial organization of the Bhutanese state within which the counties are embedded, the paper compares the electoral results with the relevant election rules.

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    File Function: First version, 2004
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    Paper provided by Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO) in its series IDE Discussion Papers with number 4.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2004
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    Publication status: Published in IDE Discussion Paper. No. 4. 2004.7
    Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper4
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