Six more to go

Six more to go

BTP has declared 41 candidates so far

The latest party to join the fray for the 2023 National Assembly (NA) elections, Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) has declared 41 candidates so far. The party on 14 July declared Kinzang Wangchuk, 51, as a candidate from Dremetse_Ngatshang, Mongaar, taking the total number of candidates declared to 41. 

BTP now has to declare candidates from South Thimphu, Lamgong-Wangchang, Athang-Thedtsho, Gangzur-Minjey, Khar-Yurung, and Chhoekhor-Tang.

However, the party says it has all 47 candidates confirmed and that they will be declared in the coming days. “We already have a good set of representation in all constituencies from diverse backgrounds,” a representative of the party said.

On professional diversity, BTP has about 15 % representatives from the private sector. 13.56% comprises those from the administration and planning background, which includes retired dzongdas, dzongrabs, dungpas and managers.

From the executive professional, which includes secretaries, directors, and CEOs, it has 11.86 representatives. 10% is composed of ex-Parliamentarians. The least professional representation is from the geology and mining sectors which account for 3.39% each while the second highest is from research and academics. The rest are from IT, education, finance and economy and environment, agriculture and livestock, and forestry.

31 candidates have Master’s degree and 11 have a Bachelor’s Degree. The party has three candidates with Ph.D. and two holding Post Graduate degrees.

The party said that it was not difficult to find candidates but that it was far more difficult to decide which candidates to choose from. “We had received expressions of interest from numerous people. We have very rigorous selection criteria led by a selection committee,” the party president said.

 By mid-August, BTP will declare candidates from the remaining constituencies.

Of the 41, three are females and the party says that they not only add gender diversity but also bring about the much-needed professional diversity and regional balance.  The one from the east worked as a General Manager in the Natural Resources Development Corporation. The other from central Bhutan is an agriculturist, who has served mostly in remote places. The third is from the West and has worked as a researcher in the health and teaching professions. 

Meanwhile, the part’s President has reached the eastern part of the country for an introductory tour. It has covered Samtse, Dagana, Tsirang, Sarpang, Zhemgang, Pemagatshel, Trashigang and Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhags. Due to roadblocks, the party could cover only 4 gewogs in Samdrup Jongkhar.

The party members say that BTP has a President who is a man of few words but with a proven record of being a doer. The President has a practical gasp of the ground realities.  Having worked with the people at the grassroots level all over the country pertaining to the fundamental issue of land and as the chairperson of the Eastern Covid-19 Taskforce.

The party also claims it has the right mix of candidates with different professional backgrounds and diverse experiences. “Most of our candidates are from the executive levels in their respective fields with a good track record of having been effective implementors rather than only good with paper policy. BTP is also well represented by a young pool of energetic candidates with a fairly good representation of women,” a party’s representative said.

Sangay Rabten from Thimphu