Although Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) have invited her to join them as a candidate, Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) president Lily Wangchuk said she has no plans to join any party.

“I cannot join other parties by abandoning my own party. If I go to another party, my members should also go,” she said.

DCT president Lily Wangchuk

DCT president Lily Wangchuk

Opposition leader and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) president, Dr Pema Gyamtsho (PhD), said that his party is open to welcoming members from DCT.

He however, added, “There is no question of a merger between these two parties.”

“We don’t know much about the status of DCT. However, if the party deregisters, we are open to individuals from DCT joining our party.”

DCT failed to win 10 percent of the popular vote in 2013 and will not be eligible for state funding for the 2018 elections, according to the Public Election Fund Act of Bhutan.

Should it decide to contest, it has to do without funds from the state.

A party that secures less than 10 percent of the popular vote in the primary round would not be eligible for state funding in the next election. The party will be deregistered if it fails to secure 10 percent popular votes in 2018 elections.

DCT received 12,456 votes (5.9 percent) in the last primary elections. Without campaign funds from the state, a DCT member said that the party might not enjoy a level playing field with other political parties.

DCT officials say that as a party outside of Parliament,  its role and engagement with people over the last four years has been limited due to some restrictive policies and in the absence of state funding.

MB Subba


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