Tashi Phuntsho

Pemagatshel – Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates took center stage at the public debate held at Nangkor Higher Secondary School MPH on December 27, expressing gratitude for the primary election support and presenting their visions for the development of Khar-Yurung constituency.

Sangay Thinley focused his pledges on key areas such as chain link fencing, improved irrigation canals, enhanced agriculture marketing, land development, and management. He emphasised on the five economic drivers — agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, energy, and mines and minerals — for long-term benefits. 

Should the BTP win, Sangay Thinley promised new roads, GSB on farm roads, and blacktopped roads for all five gewogs. Specific road projects include Chimung to Kuri Gonri, Lung Kholom to Kali Shong, and Naskhar to Mangthari under Chimung gewog. He also committed to blacktopping and providing a base course for Naskhar to Kurigonri road in five chiwogs. 

Thinley shared pledges for construction of a zigri (balcony) at Chongshing Lhakhang, renovation of Laniri and Woonboran Lhakhang, and facilitating electric supply to Shokpo. Other commitments include a vegetable market shed at Dungeon and Tsho Balap, the establishment of TVET institute at Durungri, and compensation to landowners whose land is affected by construction of farm roads. 

On the policy front, he pledged to review the civil service rules 2023, increase rural life insurance from Nu 30,000 to Nu 150,000, and provide loans for contract employees. He also promised monthly payments of Nu 3,000 to senior citizens above 65 years of age and persons with disabilities. Temporary jobs for youth and changes to contract employment policies were also part of his proposals.

PDP’s candidate, Lekden Zangmo highlighted the pledged Nu 15 billion economic stimulus plan if elected. Her focus was on the construction of a double-lane road between Pemagatshel and Nganglam to boost economic growth, the reintroduction of farm shops in gewogs, and the reopening of central schools.

Other commitments from Lekden Zangmo included support for compensating crops damaged by wildlife and natural disasters, free chain link fencing, insurance for crops, and provision of drinking water. Health-related promises include ensuring one doctor and nurse at gewog hospitals and sending one household member from every home to Australia for study and experience.

She echoed commitments similar to Sangay Thinley, including improved irrigation canals, enhanced agriculture marketing, land development, and blacktopping of roads. She emphasised life skill development training for youth and unemployed students, linking organic farm production with the Mindfulness City project at Gelephu.

Sangay Thinley, 57, served for 32 years in the civil service and has a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

Lekden Zangmo, 40, from Mikuri village has 16 years’ experience as a teacher. She has a master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy from Nagarjuna University, a BEd from Paro College of Education, and a PG Diploma in Counselling from Samtse College of Education.