Seven districts covered so far in its introductory tour

In its first introductory tour of the nation, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) has till date covered seven dzongkhags (districts) namely, Trongsa, Bumthang, Monggar, Lhuentse, Trashigang, Tashiyangtse and Pemagatshel. According to the Party’s President, Kinga Tshering, convening people for meetings is the biggest challenge faced.

“DTT is in the east for introductory tour with prior approval from the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB),” Kinga Tshering said, adding that the party is orienting the people about its value based and humble approach, apart from its aims, objectives and values. “We feel that it has really resonated well with the public,” he said, adding that the receptions exceeded the expectations.

However, the President underlined that as a new party, convening people for meetings is the biggest challenge. “We wish if local leaders could help especially when it is just an introductory tour and not a campaign. Another challenge the party faces is the division among local communities because of their affiliations and experiences with parties in the past,” he said. Besides, he cited logistical challenges and their tour coinciding with the harvest season and “very difficult road conditions” as other challenges.

While certain sections of the populace say that for the people to make the right choice of parties in the elections, it is important for people to attend the meetings and that the local leaders should support, others say it will set a precedence. “If local leaders today play a role in arranging meetings for the DTT today, they will need to do it for other parties and even for National Council (NC) aspirants,” a gup who did not want to be named said. “The Local Government (LG) is apolitical and we have to maintain this position,” he said.

Speaking along the same lines, Tandin Wangchu, a political observer said that LG leaders are already alleged of being political. “They should stay away from anything related to politics and if it is felt that there is need to mobilize people when parties are on an introductory tour, the ECB should do it,” he said. “Moreover, all parties have their representatives (Tshogpas), who should be doing these kind of works,” he added.

Meanwhile, since registration in August, DTT has declared nine candidates, while it has 47 provisional candidates.

The party declared its first three candidates from the constituencies of Thimphu, Paro and Punakha on August 27, 2022. Three more were introduced on September 6, 2022, from the central part of the country in Trongsa, Zhemgang and Bumthang

Coinciding with the opening of the party’s office in Trashigang, DTT, introduced its first three candidates in the east on October 6, 2022. The party has not introduced any female candidate so far.

Meanwhile, the party will be heading to Samdrup Jongkhar and Zhemgang next, after which it will familiarize itself in the parts of Thimphu followed by southern dzongkhags. It is expected the DTT’s introductory tour will conclude by the end of this year.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu