Many erstwhile and present candidates associated with the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) will not be the main faces representing the party in the upcoming elections in 2018.
The reasons for their exit are varied; from joining other political parties, pursuing other career choices, calling politics a quit to age factor limiting their chances in politics.
The first candidate to quit DPT is the former information and communications minister and DPT’s candidate from Shompangkha constituency in Sarpang in 2013 elections, Nandalal Rai, who will join the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the upcoming elections in 2018.
Talking to Business Bhutan, Nandalal Rai said he resigned from DPT and joined PDP as he had compelling personal reasons to resign from the party. “With the age factor I still have the age to serve my king and people and thought why not be politically active. I will give my service till the end,” he said.
Similarly, Hemant Gurung, who contested from Lhamoidzingkha-Tashiding constituency in Dagana in 2013 elections, has joined the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT). DPT has announced Prem Kumar Khatiwara as their next candidate in place of Hemant Gurung.
An erstwhile DPT candidate who has decided to instead contest for the National Council elections this time is Passang Thrinlee from Athang-Thedtsho constituency in Wangduephodrang.
The candidate, who came back from Australia, said it was a golden opportunity for being able to serve his people and constituency back in 2008, but unfortunately he could not win in the 2013 elections. “It was people’s choice back then for me to join DPT and today also they want me participate but in the National Council,” he said. “I want to feel the difference between NC and MP and at the end of the day serve the people.” DPT has, therefore, announced Nim Gyeltshen as its next candidate from Athang-Thetsho constituency in Wangduephodrang.
Meanwhile, four other candidates who would not be able to contest in the 2018 elections for reason being past their age eligible for politics comprise MP Yeshey Zimba from South Thimphu, MP Khandu Wangchuk from Lamgong-Wangchang constituency in Paro, MP Zangley Dukpa from Khar-Yurung constituency in Pemagatshel, and MP Karma Rangdol from Gangzur-Minjey constituency in Lhuentse.
Another candidate who is not making a comeback in the 2018 elections from DPT is Gyem Dorji from Nyisho-Sephu constituency in Wangduephodrang, who has been replaced by Chimi Jamtsho, a senior personnel officer at PHPA II.
Gyem Dorji said he does not have any specific reasons for resigning from the party. “I just want to focus on my acting career and pursue my dream,” he said. Besides, he added that his passion for acting in films overshadowed his career and he has also decided to end his career in politics.
Other candidates who will not contest from DPT in the upcoming elections include MP Dechen Zangmo from Nanong-Shumar constituency in Pemagatshel (Replaced by 33-year-old Lungten Namgyal), Kinley Dorji from Khamaed–Lunana constituency in Gasa (Replaced by 26-year-old Dhendup), Rebecca Gurung from Samtse constituency in Samtse (Replaced by KD Chamling), Lhatu from Wamrong – Khaling constituency in Trashigang (Replaced by Karma Thinley), Kesang Wangdi from Khamdang – Ramjar constituency in Trashiyangtse (Replaced by Kinga Loday), and Udya Chandra Bhandari from Sergithang-Tsirang Toed constituency in Tsirang.
Similarly, candidates who have been replaced and whose replacements are yet to be announced include Sonam Jamtsho from Drukjeygang-Tseza constituency in Dagana, Dago Tsheringla from Sombaykha constituency in Haa, and Tshering Tenzin from Menbi –Tsenkhar constituency in Lhuentse.
DPT is also yet to look for replacement for its candidate from Thrimshing constituency in Trashigang, Choeki Wangmo, Dorji Khandu from Khatoed – Laya constituency in Gasa, and both the candidates from Chhukha – Ugay Tshering from Bongo-Chapchha constituency and Chencho Dorji from Phuentshogling constituency.
Chencho Dema from Thimphu