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People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has submitted a tentative list of all 47 candidates to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) although the name of the candidate from Dogar-Shaba constituency of Paro has not been revealed yet.

ECB has asked for a list of tentative candidates of all four parties.

“We have submitted a complete list of candidates. The name of the candidate from Dogar-Shaba constituency is not yet disclosed as the candidate is yet to complete resignation formalities,” the party’s general secretary, Sonam Jatsho, said.

It was earlier reported that the former managing director of Bhutan Power Corporation, Gem Tshering, was identified as the party’s candidate from Dogar-Shaba constituency. He resigned recently.

The party has replaced a total of 14 MPs. It has 33 members in Parliament.

Except for labour minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, the candidature of Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, all the nine ministers and as many MPs have been considered.

The serving MPs whose candidature has been considered, at least as of now, are Rinzin Dorji from Phuentsholing, Kinley Om from Bji-Kar-Tshog-Uesu, Pema Dukpa from Khamaed Lunana and Tshering from North Thimphu.

Also considered candidates among the serving MPs are Karma Tenzin from Wamrong, Sonam Dendup Dorjee from Khamdang Ramjar and Novin Darlami from Sergithang-Tsirangtoe, Kuenga from Nyishog-Saephu and Deputy Speaker Chimi Dorji from Lingmukha-Toedwang in Punakha.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) have also submitted the names of their candidates to the ECB. DNT has submitted a list of all 47 candidates.

Political parties will be required to submit a complete list of 47 candidates to the ECB along with a letter of intent even though voting in the primary is basically for political parties. BKP was disqualified from taking part in the primary of 2013 National Assembly elections.

The two parties that qualify for the general election are expected to take candidates from the parties that get eliminated from the primary to boost their chance to form the government.

ECB allows such a move although Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) feels that horse-trading should not be allowed.

Four parties took part in the 2013 primary and there will be as many in the upcoming election, if they submit the names of 47 candidates for the primary.

President of erstwhile Druk Chirwang Tshogpa joined DPT after announcing deregistration of her party.

The ECB denied registration to erstwhile Druk Kuenphen Tshogpa initiated by former civil servant Jigme Dukpa in July last year.

Another aspiring political party, Druk Gaki Tshogpa, was also denied registration in March this year, citing lack of credibility. However, the party’s  founder Cheku Dukpa has appealed in the High Court against the ECB’s decision.

Cheku Dukpa said that it was too late for his party to contest the upcoming election.

“Other parties have almost completed their campaign. We can’t contest this time even if the High Court gives a decision in our favour,” he said.

MB Subba

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