LG: His Majesty The King granted dhar and kabney to the gups elected during the 2016 local government elections, at the Simtokha Dzong.

His Majesty The King personally conferred the kabney to gups to highlight the important role of the locally elected leaders in strengthening democracy and furthering development at the grassroots level.

His Majesty The King expressed appreciation to all the people across the country who shouldered their sacred responsibilities in the democratic process as voters and as candidates. His Majesty The King specifically mentioned the 3,391 individuals who stood for the elections, and commended them for their dedication and commitment in stepping forward to serve the Tsa Wa Sum.

His Majesty The King said that the gups have been entrusted to work towards enhancing the security and sovereignty of our country; promoting peace, harmony, and unity amongst our people; and upholding our traditions and cultural heritage.

His Majesty The King said that the gups must set good examples, and ensure that their personal conduct and professional achievements are worthy of emulation for posterity.

His Majesty The King also reminded the gups of the ancient Bhutanese adage: “The main concern of the King is the welfare of the people; the desire of the people is peace; and law is the foundation of a peaceful society.”

As gups, they will not go wrong in carrying out responsibilities if they place utmost importance in upholding the rule of law, His Majesty The King said.

His Majesty The King said that we are a small landlocked developing country with immense development needs but limited resources. In such a situation, our local governments must ensure the most judicious utilisation of our limited resources so that our people, the ultimate beneficiaries, derive the maximum benefit from the process of economic development.

Every year the volume of work will grow and accordingly expenditures will also rise.  The biggest risk in such a situation is that of rising corruption and fraud. As we complete the 11th Plan and embark on the 12th Plan, the gups must be ever vigilant and demanding on setting higher standards for themselves and others.

As we work towards establishing a vibrant and strong democracy, of all the important tasks, people’s participation is the most important.  Whether it is participation in elections or in village zomdus, asking questions or clarifying doubts, our people must continue to participate actively and meaningfully in all aspects of local governance to ensure the success of local governments.

His Majesty The King said that the dhar for the gups is granted from the Golden Throne in recognition of the immense importance attached to local governments. There is every likelihood to wrongly perceive our local governments as the lowest level of government. In reality, it is the most important level of government– nearest and closest to our people.

The ceremony was held at the Simtokha Dzong, which is significant and sacred as the first dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.