Bhutanese line up to cast their votes to select
the country's first democratic government [AFP]
Bhutan, the landlocked kingdom, is to relinquish its monarchy and start the arduous journey of a Republican democracy.

The king of Bhutan on his own will has agreed to step down from his thrown thus bringing to an end a monarchy that has ruled for centuries.

The move was not preceded by upheaval or popular revolt; rather it was an act of benevolence by the king.
 
Many think democracy might seem a tricky option for this docile nation.

Most problems were tackled by royal decree, which were not bad at all.

The gross domestic product of Bhutan is $1,321 a year which is not so bad in comparison with other developing nations.

Some experts expect democracy to cause the Bhutanese upheaval and acrimony they are not used to. 
 
So what does the new shift mean for the future of Bhutan?

This episode of Inside Story aired on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 17:30 GMT
 

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