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Bhutan gets opposition as MPs withdraw resignation
NEW DELHI |
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bhutan's only two opposition members of the national assembly dropped plans on Wednesday to resign their seats over allegations of an unfair election, saying they would play the role of an effective opposition in the world's newest democracy.
The Himalayan kingdom, which held its first ever general election last week, would have been reduced to a one-party state, if the two deputies had carried out their threat.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) won only two seats in the 47-member assembly, but both candidates initially said they would not take their seats, alleging that civil servants had unfairly influenced the first ever general election held last week.
But on Wednesday party spokesman Tashi Tsering told Reuters the candidates will play their role of "an effective opposition".
"With democracy in Bhutan coming for the first time, it would not have been a good start," Tsering said by telephone from capital Thimpu.
"Regardless of what has happened, regardless of the fact that it will not be a forceful opposition, our candidates will now discharge their duty."
The people of Bhutan turned out in large numbers to vote in the polls, after their king urged them to embrace democracy.
But the election results shocked Bhutan after the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) won 45 seats, leaving the PDP, a party run by the king's relatives by marriage, with only two seats.
PDP leader Sangay Ngedup, who lost the election in his constituency to a school teacher, is a former prime minister and uncle of the present king.
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