Bhutan’s democracy continued its consolidation. A new party, the Bhutan United Party, won the 2018 national elections, and the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party accepted its role as the opposition party. However, it dismissed the ruling party’s repeated appeals to act as one team unless offered positions on the cabinet.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected Bhutan’s already-struggling private sector, severely hampered the tourism industry, and negatively impacted Bhutan’s critical earnings from remittances. With over 25% unemployment reported among Bhutan’s youth, Bhutan will need to accelerate the development of the private sector.

Bhutan’s lower and upper houses of parliament have clashed at times over legislation and policies but have eventually settled most of their differences amicably. The government has made significant commitments to education and civil service reforms. It also rallied the country to contain and mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

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