PM hints at recontesting in the 2023 elections

Replying to a question from the media during the virtual Meet the Press held yesterday (October 14, 2022), Prime Minister (PM) Dr Lotay Tshering indicated that he would re-contest in the 2023 parliamentary elections.

This comes in the backdrop of a statement that the PM made during the elections in 2018, where he had said during public debates and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) convention to give him a term and that he would not re-contest.

The PM yesterday told the media that he cannot drop out amidst many reforms and ongoing works and also added that had it not been for the pandemic, his stand would be the same as before.

“But my mindset has changed given the different situation,” he said.

Speaking about the pandemic and the works left undone, the PM said that it wouldn’t be fair to just leave in between.

Meanwhile, people that the paper spoke to said one need not stick to a statement made during a campaign. “The PM is definitely right. His government could not do much because of the pandemic and so he will have several things in mind. Whether his party will win or not is a different question, but he should re-contest as he has really matured as a politician and leader,” Tshering Dorji, a businessman based in Thimphu, said.

A former civil servant said the PM has had to make a lot of unpopular decisions. “The closure of drayangs, doing away with gyaldrungs, increase in the sustainable development fee (SDF), the civil service reforms and others has hit the people. While the PM explained the need to some extent, he hasn’t done it properly and he can talk about it only if he re-contests,” he said. “Moreover, I sincerely do not see anyone in DNT who can be the PM,” he added.

“When he made the statement in 2018, nothing was certain. He has now become PM and as such has the moral responsibility to lead his party. Like the PM himself said, he just cannot leave at this juncture,” Tenzin, a private employee said, adding whether DNT would win or not is another question.

Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu