Dechen Dolkar

Bhutan Tendrel Party’s (BTP) president Pema Chewang spent most of his campaign time yesterday convincing constituents that his party was not a cheat and was worth trusting.

On the second day of his campaign in South Thimphu constituency at Thimphu Thromde and Dagala gewog, he assured people that their pledges were all doable although fewer in comparison.

The president expressed concerns about the poor perception of political parties among the public. Recalling his experience from the familiarisation tour around the country, Pema Chewang said the impression of political parties and politicians on most people is that of a cheater, liar, and false promises.

Pema Chewang said that during the familiarisation tour in one of the chiwogs in Wangdue, a lady asked him if he knew how to lie to the public. “The old lady told me that to get votes, politicians should know how to lie, and they must be garrulous,” he said.

An old woman in Trashigang confronted him, saying that all the political parties are great deceivers and that she doesn’t believe in them anymore. “Initially, to woo the voters, the party promised voters many freebies, and after the election, they did not even respond to the calls.”

He said that people have lost faith in politicians. “We want to regain the trust of the people and serve them by addressing all bottlenecks and issues in policies.”

A voter in Trashigang told him, he said, that if BTP is elected it can save on blacktopping the farmroad in the area since the previous governments have done it in thick layers. The farmer said that if BTP resorted to applying more then their vehicles could topple down.

“I visited the farm road, it was never blacktopped despite repeated pledges,” Pema Chewang said.

Pema Chewang said that the voters in Gelephu said that they would never vote for those parties who pledged to construct the Moakhola bridge.

Through his anecdotes injected with humour, Pema Chewang drove his message of the party’s intent to be accountable to the people and deliver on their pledges.

The BTP president said that there were leakages in the taxation system and pledged to simplify the system.

“If you elect BTP, the party will re-visit the taxation system. We will also reduce the interest rates of the loans,” the president said.

The president also said that if they get elected, they will initiate to grow high-end fruits like Miyazaki mango which earns around Nu 270,000 to Nu 300,000 a kg.

BTP would introduce yearly Alu Sarkey Tendrel Thue of Nu 15,000 to all babies born up to 18 years to encourage population growth which is essential for economic development.