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Bhutan gets fourth political party

With mostly retired civil servants, businessmen, local leaders as members, the All People's Party has 17 retired royal advisory councilors.

world Updated: Jun 06, 2007 12:03 IST

Bhutan's transition from an absolute monarchy to democracy has taken yet another leap forward with a fourth political party being formed to fight the general elections next year.

With mostly retired civil servants, businessmen and former local leaders as members, the All People's Party also has 17 retired royal advisory councilors in its ranks.

DC Sharma, a former principal of Deothang Polytechnic and one of the founding members of the party said the groundwork has already been done. "We have a party manifesto, charter and structure in place and are confident of winning the 2008 election and forming the first democratically elected government," he said.

Three parties -- People's Democratic Party, Bhutan People United Party and the Bhutan National Party -- have been already been formed.

A senior functionary of All People's Party said the main reason for its formation is to provide "an alternative and additional platform so that every Bhutanese can voice their opinion in the formation of the nation's first constitutional and democratic government".

"We are encouraged by the commitment made by many senior civil servants," he said.

Meanwhile, with just about a month left for the political parties to register themselves with the Election Commission of Bhutan, the news of the formation of All Peoples Party has come as an relief to many people who had said that they were looking for more options.

"It is good news. There should be many options for the people to have a free and fair election," said a senior civil servant.