Bhutan signed a new friendship agreement with India in February 2007, replacing the old one from 1949.
The Program Director for the United Nations Environment Program, Achim Steiner, pointed out in July 2007 that although Bhutan is one of the countries that emit at least CO 2 into the atmosphere, it will be one of the countries that feels the consequences of global warming most, as it will will receive large amounts of water as the Himalayan snow masses melt.
In April 2007, the king lifted the ban on political parties. In June, the conservative royalist party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party) was formed. The party won the country’s first parliamentary elections in March 2008 and won 45 of the parliament’s 47 seats. Its chairman, Jigmi Yoezer Thinley, became prime minister.
- According to AllCityPopulation, the capital city of Bhutan is Thimphu with a population of 114 551 (2017 Census). Other major cities include Phuentsholing with a population of 27 658, Gelephu with a population of 9 858, Wangdue with a population of 8 954 (2017 census).
In the fall of 2008, Thinley characterized the global financial crisis as a consequence of greed, and instead referred to Bhutan’s goal of National Prosperity, which emphasizes both spiritual and material values.
With a 3 year delay, local elections were held in the first half of 2011. The elections were conducted in the period January-June. 1104 representatives were captured among 2185 candidates. However, turnout only reached 56%.
In April 2013 elections were held for the 20-person National Council. There were 67 candidates, but in a few of the municipalities there was only 1 candidate on the ballot. All candidates were independent as the legislation prohibits parties from running for office. The king subsequently appointed another 5 members to the council.
In May, the first round of elections for the 47-person National Assembly was conducted. The second round was completed in July. The election was a landslide victory for the opposition party PDP, which gained 30 seats – a rise of 30. The former ruling party DPT had to settle for the 15th PDP chairman, Tshering Tobgay then assumed the post of prime minister. In particular, the background to the landslide election was that the DPT had initiated an approximation process to China. It was punished by India removing the subsidies on the sale of oil to Bhutan, with the result that energy prices tripled. Furthermore, India removed its credits to the country, throwing Bhutan into a difficult economic crisis. The PDP advocated strengthening relations with India and decentralizing power. After the victory, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent his congratulations to the PDP.
- COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Bhutan, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.
Bhuntan initiated a kind of land reform in 2011 at Khinadang in Pemagatshel. The purpose of the project was to resettle peasants from remote and hard-to-reach valleys to a village in a more fertile part of the country and at the same time make counseling and supplies available to them. The project was inaugurated in 2014 and from the start was a great success, which it was therefore decided to implement in other parts of the country as well.
In 2014, the king pardoned 45 prisoners convicted of possessing larger quantities of tobacco.
From a few thousand tourists annually in 1990, the number of tourists in 2014 increased to 133,500. The country seeks to mitigate the harms of tourism by imposing a daily tourist tax of $ 250 on each tourist and completely banning individual tourism. Only wealthy tourist groups have access.