Six former PDP candidates to not contest in 2023 elections

Three candidates have resigned due to age, while six of them for now have expressed no desire to participate in the 2023 elections

While the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) maintained that they will contest in the upcoming elections in 2023, there are rumors that some members have tendered their resignation from the party, some have expressed no desire to contest in the next elections, and some have resigned due to age. 

“Such a thing is common, but in the PDP, there are a larger number of candidates, about six of them for now have no interest in contesting the elections,” said PDP’s Secretary General Kuenga Tashi.

Meanwhile, the ones who will not participate in the coming elections due to age reasons are former Home Minister Dawa Gyaltshen from Bongo-Chapcha constituency, Chhukha, former Minister of Information and Communications Nandalal Rai from Sompangkha constituency, Sarpang, and Chimi Dorji from Lingmukha-Toewang constituency.

Kuenga Tashi said that although the party had not received any formal resignation from the six persons, they had verbally informed that they would not contest in the next elections.

When asked about the reasons for their withdrawal, he said that he also did not get definite answers from them.

The six alleged candidates are former Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji from Khatoed-Laya constituency in Gasa, Kaka Tshering from Lamgong-Wangchang constituency in Paro, former Head of Forest Fire Management Department Tandin Dorji of South Thimphu, Kesang Wangdi of Khamdang-Ramjar constituency in Trashiyangtse, Dr. Karma Drukpa of Nanong-Shumar constituency in Pemagatshel, and Sonam Tshering, former Drungpa of Gelephu, for Khar-Yurung constituency in Pemagatshel.

Kuenga Tashi said these were the candidates for which the party is seeking replacements for at the moment.

“We are not sure if the candidates will stay with the party till the end,” he said.

Meanwhile, the party has only two female candidates – former Minister of Works and Human Settlement Dorji Choden of Thrimshing constituency in Trashigang, and Kinley Om, the former MP from Bji Kar Tshog Uesu constituency in Haa. 

‘The party is looking for more female candidates, but unfortunately the party could not find any. The search for female candidates is continuing,” Kuenga Tashi said.  

“The party will soon determine the candidates as it is difficult to find replacements,” he added. 

However, given the high emotions that can be triggered when former candidates do not want to run again, the replacement process is not always smooth.

Meanwhile, PDP was ousted in the 2018 primary elections. The party secured 56,180 votes, the highest EVM votes compared to Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s 55,166 and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s 53,108. However, the party received only 23,703 postal ballots votes compared to DNT’s 37,556 and DPT’s 36,912.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu