… ECB accepts its registration as a political party 

Dechen Dolkar 

Voters will have more choices, with Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) being formally registered by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) as the sixth political party in the country.

The ECB officially registered BTP on January 9 to contest the 2023 parliamentary elections and handed over the approval and certificate yesterday. The party applied for registration on November 30, last year.

The party claims that Bhutan’s progress has been stymied by institutional and systemic barriers that have made availing public services extremely difficult and time-consuming.

While developmental activities such as building roads, bridges, and other infrastructure are important, these are already part of the country’s development plans and any government must execute them, the party stated.

“BTP is capable, dedicated, and inspired to drive the current transformations,” the party stated.

The party, during its first press conference, said that it believes in creating an enabling environment for everyone in the country to “unleash their full potential”. Making use of technology to rationalise and improve public service is a major focus of the party.

The party name BTP, Tendrel heralds the beginning of a new era, a new dawn, a brave new Bhutan, and a responsive political party.

The party president, Dasho Pema Chewang said that they will remain right at the center, working towards a greater and prosperous Bhutan. “As all occurrences result from causes and conditions, Tendrel values cultivating good causes and creating necessary conditions to achieve good results.”

BTP party symbol is an Elephant symbolising strength, character, and stability.

The president said that elephants are considered powerful beings that carry the wisdom, memory, and intelligence of the ages.

Its tagline is “Your Voice, Your Hope,” emphasising on freedom of expression and responsibility to ensure social justice and human security by putting people at the center of development.

The party president said that the party is taking part in the elections to bring about much-needed change in the lives of the people by creating a robust national economy with a particular focus on household income.

Dasho Pema Chewang said that it was time to shift gears. “We must explore new areas of opportunities for our people and unleash their potential to make us competitive in the global market.”

“We believe that there is much to be done but nothing that can’t be done,” he said.

BTP will position itself as a clean, efficient, sound, reliable, and dedicated political party for the 2023 parliamentary elections.

The party president said that in the past elections, there were lots of complaints about bribing each other rather than focusing on their own party manifesto and ideology. “We don’t want to accuse and defame any other parties. We want to be very clean and set good precedence in the future,” the President said.

According to the party, it has “a mix of highly capable and competent candidates from a wide range of educational backgrounds, experience, and age”.

The party also claims that all 47 candidates are confirmed and the party will start revealing its candidates from time to time since some of them are still in civil service.

The party has confirmed two to three women candidates so far.

The party president said that they have a committee to select the candidates and it has to be selected from the gross root level.

BTP will begin its familiarization tour after offering its prayers at the Punakha Dzong. Subsequently, the party candidates will be visiting their constituencies for the familiarisation tour.

BTP will also soon host a national-level coordination meeting where it will reveal some more of its candidates.