Bhutan king announces abdication (BBC, 12/18/05)

The king of Bhutan says he will step down when the country will hold its first national democratic elections in 2008, state media reported.

King Jigme Singye Wangchuck said he would be succeeded as leader of the tiny and remote Himalayan kingdom by his son, the crown prince. […]

Speaking in a remote village three days’ drive from the capital, Thimpu, the king told thousands of yak herders, monks, farmers, and students that he would begin handing over responsibility to the crown prince immediately.

“I would like our people to know that the first national election to elect a government under a system of parliamentary democracy will take place in 2008,” the 50-year-old told the crowd gathered in Trashiyangtse.

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