Some candidates have reclined, some jovial, one or two living their dreams, while others simply cherishing the journey and are open to trade horses as well
The Bhutanese electorate on November 30 has sieved and chosen the final two political parties who will look to lock horns on January 9, 2024. Post the primary round result, the mood in the five political party offices is that of a mixture of reclusiveness and gregariousness.
Owing the win largely to the prayers and support from the people of Kanglung_Samkhar_Udzorong from where he secured maximum votes, the president of Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), Dasho Pem Chewang said that his party has now more job in hand than they usually did.
“While celebrating our victory as we make it through the primary round, I want to once again solicit your support and help during the general round,” he said. “Bhutan Tendrel Party is merely less than a year old, yet with all the love and support from you, we managed to offer a better choice to the people. I am eager and re-energized to work harder and smarter until the very last minute,” the party president said.
The party secured 61,331 votes and is one of the two parties that will go through to the general round of the elections.
“Despite being a new party, BTP is fortunate to have received huge support from the people and we are really grateful. The result we see is a collective effort of our candidates, supporters and party workers. In a short period, BTP has been able to cover so much grounds and this shows the party’s spirit, determination and efforts we put in,” the party GS, Tshering Nidup said.
BTP believes that their approach to clean and responsive governance with special emphasis on efficient public service delivery has gone down very well with the people. “The need to correct systemic flaws and institutional barrier, redundant rules and regulations is all geared towards empowering our people and meaningfully contribute to nation building,” Tshering Nidup said.
“Our manifesto is a comprehensive package for a prosperous Bhutan to propel our country towards a high income nation by 2030. We have focused on long term goals rather than short term pledges to lure votes,” the GS conceded.
Additionally, the GS feels that BTP candidates, who are all experienced, qualified, and empathetic has worked very hard and they were able to convince the voters. “And lastly, the party’s leadership, who feels the pulse of the nation, understands people’s welfare and with a proven track record, has been the greatest factor contributing to our success.”
When asked about the possibility of horse-trading, Tshering Nidup said that it is too early to comment on this. “While we don’t have any plans of horse- trading, we will leave it to the individual candidates,” he reasserted.
On the other hand, not having garnered enough votes to maintain the continuity of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) government, president Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering later said, “My team at Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa and I gave our best, during governance as well as during the campaign. We take utmost gratification from the fact that we served Bhutan during the roughest patch in Bhutan’s history, resulted from pandemic and subsequent geo-political situations”.
“I always prayed that Bhutan must win, and the outcome is an answer towards that,” he added. He said that Bhutan is at the most crucial phase. Having come past the intersections of all uncertainties, the road ahead for Bhutan is filled with excitement and prosperity, which meant a lot of work remains to be done.
“Therefore, as this electoral process graduates to the final round, our prayer remains the same. May the party that will truly uphold the critical responsibilities of seeing through the changes-win”.
Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering shared that their commitments were sincere, and so were their words and actions, which made their participation in the electoral process very meaningful. “With the same conviction, we will continue to serve our beautiful country with undeterred enthusiasm and ever lifting spirit,” he said.
“As we embrace the new beginning, let us continue to work together. We are talking about Bhutan and it is the responsibility of each and every Bhutanese. The members of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa and I will do our part,” he concluded.
The party’s general secretary (GS) also said that they had taken the election results graciously. “It is the people’s choice. We respect the decision made by the voters. Whoever wins, will serve the nation,” he told Business Bhutan.
When asked why the party lagged behind in terms of the number of votes this time, the party members said that they did not get enough time to work on the party front as they were serving the people and the country. “We just got two days to prepare for the election,” the party’s GS said.
On their next course of action, DNT members and candidates are expected to report to Thimphu one of these days and convene a meeting. “Our next course will be charted during that meeting,” the GS said.
Meanwhile, one of the old wines but now out of the race, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) respects the results and humbly accepts the outcome of the primary round.
On what their next line of action could be, the party’s GS said that it will be discussed after the candidates meet back in Thimphu from their respective constituencies. “But one thing is for sure, we will come back stronger in the next elections and we will start preparations right on,” he added.
Having treaded the political journey for the last two years, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) members felt that it is also an accomplishment to have been granted the opportunity to contest in the parliamentary elections.
“We gained so much wisdom and experience, which we will cherish for life,” the party president, Kinga Tshering said. “For the moment though, we rest our cause we believe we carried fiercely, for a nation we love as fiercely, and for its future we as fiercely care.”
The party’s GS, Kunga Namgay said that DTT never lagged behind in any aspects during the process. “Infact, we were confident about reaching the general round too,” he said, adding that he has no idea where, when, how and what went wrong.
“But we graciously accept the people’s mandate and will come back stronger next time,” he reiterated.
Most of the party’s candidates shared that they were neither underwhelmed nor overwhelmed by the election results. “We had our foot firmly rooted to the ground and did not hover above the clouds. That’s why the results couldn’t knock us off balance,” a party representative said.
Representatives from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) could not be contacted despite numerous attempts. A source however said that the mood is upbeat and the party is already gearing up the tempo in preparations for the general round of the election.
Tashi Namgyal from Thimphu