Money-Politics Nexus – a Danger for Bhutan’s Democracy

18 out in the open

DTT has declared 18 candidates and covered 200 gewogs in 17 dzongkhags so far 

Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) has introduced 18 candidates after it was registered as a new political party since August, 2022.  Covering about 10,000km, the party has covered 200 gewogs in 17 dzongkhags so far.

DTT is currently in Thimphu for its introductory program. The party has declared only one female candidate. The party’s president, Kinga Tshering, said DTT will introduce seven more candidates in the coming weeks. While the party wants to have more women candidates, the president said, it is difficult.  However, the party expects at least five-seven women candidates.

In August, last year, the party declared its first three candidates from the constituencies of Thimphu, Paro and Punakha.

Three more candidates in the central part of the country in Trongsa, Zhemgang and Bumthang were introduced on 6 September, 2022.

Coinciding with the auspicious opening of the party office in Trashigang, the party introduced its first three candidates in the east on October 6, last year.

DTT is on an introductory tour in different parts of the country with prior approval from the Election Commission of Bhutan. During the tour, the party president Kinga Tshering said, “the public has good acceptance and it exceeded the expectation.”

“Our value based and humble approach really resonated and the public are convinced that DTT is a party with incredible broad-based support and a very competent group of candidates,  explaining the party’s aims, objectives and values,” the president added.

As a new party convening people for meetings is the biggest challenge according to the party president. He wishes if local leaders help especially when it is just an introductory tour but not a campaign. Another biggest challenge the party faces is the division among local communities because of their affiliation experiences with parties in the past besides the logistical challenges of the harvest season and also very difficult road conditions for travels.

Yet, the party is overwhelmed by people’s participation. The president said that the party has collected views from the grassroot level and “people are impressed.”

DTT expected to conclude the introductory tour by December, 2022. It still has three dzongkhags to cover- Paro, Haa and Wangdue Phodrang while some constituencies in some dzongkhags couldn’t be covered.  

DTT was registered as a new political party on 22 August as per the provision of the Constitution of Kingdom of Bhutan.

DTT officially sworn in Kinga Tshering from Thimphu as the Party’s President and Dr (PhD) Chenga Tshering from Thrimshing Kangpara, Trashigang as the Vice President.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu