Laptops banned in Bhutan assembly over gaming fears

A model poses with the new version of Asustek's low cost notebook "Eee PC" during the 2008 Computex exhibition in Taipei June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

THIMPU, Bhutan (Reuters) - The national assembly in newly democratic Bhutan has stopped lawmakers from bringing laptop computers into the house for fear they might spend their time playing computer games.

“The members can be distracted playing games and viewing pictures,” said Nima Tshering, speaker of the assembly.

Some lawmakers in the Himalayan kingdom, which held its first ever general election in March, had argued that laptops were more convenient than carrying around bundles of papers.

But house rules ban members from using electronic gadgets, eating and smoking.

Editing by Jonathan Allen and Alex Richardson