Former NC Chairperson says he will update his political intentions in March or April next year

Former NC Chairperson says he will update his political intentions in March or April next year

In what was a surprise to many people, former National Council (NC) Chairperson, Dasho Sonam Kinga (PhD) on December 25, 2022 appeared in a video clip shared on the Facebook page Peldruk Pelbar, stating that he is exploring possibilities of contesting in the 2023 general elections.

While some sources told the paper that Dasho would be joining an existing party, there are others who say that he would be forming a new party. When asked about this, the former NC Chairperson said that he will update only in March or April 2023. On queries from the media, he has maintained that joining a party or forming a new one is not important. The important question is “why.”

Meanwhile, people have been dissecting his political intentions and also the impacts, notwithstanding whether he joins an existing party or forms one. “Establishing a new party is not an easy task. There are already six parties, including Bhutan Kuenyam Party (BKP) and the latest one formed by the former Secretary of the National Land Commission (NLC) who would contest in 2023, thus getting good candidates, coordinators and others would be difficult, unless he has already done this,” a politician said, adding that if “he has stated that he would update only in April or May next year, it appears that he is going to join an existing party.”

He also added that as a public figure, who has been the NC Chairperson, too, Dasho Sonam Kinga would most probably want the President’s post, if he joins a party. “All the registered parties who have declared their intentions to contest and the one that is yet to get the election commission of Bhutan’s (ECB) green signal have Presidents, except BKP. Perhaps, the President of a party may step down or one without it would take him,” he said, adding that nothing is certain in politics. “Dasho may even say that he has decided not to contest,” he said.

On possible impacts, another politician said it would be felt especially in eastern Bhutan and that those parties banking on the eastern votes would be affected. “It is my assessment. As there are many parties now, it is difficult to say which party would benefit and which would be harmed,” he said.  

Meanwhile, in the December 25, 2022 post Dasho says, “I am delighted to share with great joy and humility my decision to explore possibilities of contesting the 2023 elections to continue serving the Tsawa-sum.” Dasho also said that he had taken personal and independent decisions to explore possibilities. Three videos posted in Peldruk Pelbar in Dzongkha, English and Tshangla explain why he made the decision. 

In his video, Dasho has stated that inspired by Royal vision and initiatives, he has gained confidence to transform Bhutan into a nation entrepreneur. He aspires for hundreds of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), start-up and other businesses in the country to be brought in the culture of entrepreneurial kingdom driven by innovation and technology. He says that this is in pursuing the goal to address the greatest economic challenges, particularly unemployment and migration.

Dasho underlines that the possible strategies are business and enterprises, skills and talents, branding and exports driven by science and technology.

“It is to fulfill the overarching national goal in fulfilling the aspiration of people by strengthening national sovereignty and security. It is also to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of people,” he says. Dasho also aspires to create greater economic prosperity through economy, entrepreneurship, e-business, exports, energy, employment, education and empowerment.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu