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Bhutan To Hold General Elections in March, Ending Absolute Monarchy བོད་སྐད།

Bhutan will hold a general election on March 24th, completing the Himalayan kingdom's transformation from a monarchy to a democracy.

Election officials said Thursday that voters will select 47 members to the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

The mostly Buddhist nation has already elected 15 out of 20 members of an upper house, known as the National Council.

The remaining five members of the upper house will be elected at the end of January.

The country's prime minister will be installed March 25th, one day after the historic election that will end a century of absolute monarchy.

In 2005, Bhutan's former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced he was abdicating in favor of his son and ushering in democracy.

Under the new constitution, the 27-year-old Oxford-educated king, Jigme Keshar Namgyal Wangchuck, will become head of state.

Bhutan has remained largely isolated from the modern world, limiting visitors and only allowing television in 1999.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.