Introducing six new candidates in Thimphu yesterday, the vice president of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP), Sonam Tobgay, said he was hopeful that voters would go for a change of government in 2018.

“People want change. They say that no party should govern twice,” he said.

The vice president is confident that there would be a seismic shift in favour of BKP in the upcoming parliamentary elections. “The goal of our party is to form the government in 2018,” he said.

Sonam Tobgay said that some of his candidates, including himself and party president Dasho Neten Zangmo, have toured their constituencies for familiarisation. The visits, he said, are important for the party to understand the people’s aspiration.

BKP declared candidates for six constituencies: Karma Lodey from North Thimphu constituency, Tshering Nidup from Bardo-Trong in Zhemgang, Karma Jimba from Gangzur-Minjey in Lhuentse, Pirthiman Pradhan from Ugyentse-Yoeseltse, Samtse, Pushpalal Chhetri from Lhamoizingkha of Dagana and Rinchen Chogyal of Panbang.

Pirthiman Pradhan, 61, former commissioner of the Royal Civil Service Commission,  worked as the managing director of the Paro-based Druk Seed Corporation.

The former commissioner, who describes himself as a straight and transparent person, said that he joined politics to be part of the evolving democratic process. “It was my personal choice to join politics through BKP,” he said.

Equipped with an MSc in Economics and Bachelors in Crop Science, Pirthiman Pradhan said that Bhutan has enough potential for employment generation in the agriculture sector. “There is an opportunity to live a quality life in villages through development of agriculture,” he said.

Former deputy governor Pushpalal Chhetri, 51, said that although the economy is driven by GNH philosophy, there are many issues that can be easily resolved. “We can be a prosperous society if we can manage our economy well,” he said.

There is a pool of wisdom and experience in BKP. He said borrowing from financial institutions was still a challenge for farmers due to collateral issues.

He has a Masters in Public Finance and Economic Policy and has also worked in the Royal Monetary Authority as director of Research, Banking and Internal Audit departments.

Tshering Nidup, 49, a businessman, said that he joined BKP to serve the Tsawa-sum. He said that the decision of the former chief anti-corruption commissioner, Dasho Neten Zangmo, reinforced and strengthened his loyalty to the party.

“The entry of Dasho Neten is a great sign for BKP,” he said. The candidate for Bardo-Trong said that he wanted to see rapid development of Zhemgang, one of the under-developed dzongkhags in the country.

He holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from India.

Karma Jimba, 52, who holds a masters degree in engineering, has worked in Afghanistan at a managerial level with the United Nations. He said he resigned to join politics although he was earning well.

“I was not satisfied with how things were going on in our democracy,” he said, adding that some people join politics only when they have nothing to do.

With an MA in Economics, Karma Lodey, 38, runs a business in Thimphu. He wants to promote the spirit of volunteerism in the country.

He said he used to think that politics was dirty, but no more. “I want to change the thinking of our youth,” he said.

The youngest among the six is also a businessman, Rinchen Chogyal, 33, said that he wants to make the best use of fallow land in the country to improve the economy. He served as a teacher before starting his business.

MB Subba