Neten Dorji

Trashiyangtse– Common forums for the Khamdang-Ramjar constituency in Trashiyangtse ended on December 24, with the last forum held at Shali Primary School, which saw 44 voters.

The common forum in the constituency began in Dhoogti-Gashing on December 14.

The common forum for Manam Chemkhar Chiwog in Toetsho gewog at Manam ORC saw 16 people attend the forum.

People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Kinley Dorji, and Bhutan Tendrel Party’s candidate, Namgay Dorji, said that it’s important for people to listen to their manifestos on a shared platform and make an informed choice.

Kinley Dorji said people should now realize and know who would fulfill the pledges, adding that he has experiences of serving in the local government.

“I know the people of villages well and the problems they face,” said Kinley Dorji. “If elected, I would address issues one by one.”

He said that when someone passes away, rural residents have a financial burden. “We will surely increase rural life insurance to Nu 1,50,000 without increasing the collection.”

He said that he would continue the central school started by the PDP in 2015, if he gets elected, and would review and establish more central schools on a needed basis, which would help disadvantaged people.

He committed to prioritizing the construction of the Kholongchu hydro project, implementing an economic stimulus plan of Nu 15 billion, encouraging tourism, and providing interest-free loans to purchase farm equipment.

PDP also committed to supporting further studies and training abroad for one youth from every household and creating 10,000 jobs annually.

BTP’s Namgay Dorji said the election is to choose a capable government. He echoed the party’s narrative, also used by BTP’s candidate, that it’s an election for the voters to elect the candidate who would best serve the nation and people in the constituency.

He pledged to implement the Kholongchu hydro project for regional balance development by exploring funding from international agencies. The candidate pledged to explore the feasibility of cable cars to Jangphutse, Chemkhar, Manam, and Dhoogti.

Namgay Dorji said that his party would provide chain-link fencing and promote high-yield rice varieties to improve the livelihoods of rural people. “I would also support land development and provide gender-friendly machinery to increase agricultural products.”

Both candidates asserted their commitment to blacktop all farm roads, construct new roads, address water scarcity issues in the constituency, chain-link fencing, support child allowance, promote tourism, and enhance education.

The voters said it’s important for them to attend the common forums and listen to the pledges. “Although we have heard their pledges on television, we still need to be careful and vote for the best during the voting,” said a voter who recently returned from Thimphu.

The voters who attended the forum said that the common forum was useful and helped him decide on his candidate. “The attendance is poor since it seems that the people have already decided whom to vote for.”

Voters said the common forum was helpful as the candidates were permitted to speak in Dzongkha as well as in their local dialects.