MB Subba

In what some observers see as a setback for the Opposition Party, one of it’s former MPs, Karma Lhamo, has switched to the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) to contest the upcoming bye-election.

The Ruling Party yesterday declared her as its candidate for the Mongar constituency, where the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), according to sources, has not confirmed its candidate.

Karma Lhamo, 42, had contested all the past three National Assembly elections representing DPT. But she resigned from her former party following her defeat in the third general election to DNT’s Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen who resigned as home minister recently.

“In my experience as a politician, my allegiance has always been with the people I pledged to serve,” she wrote in a Facebook post on why she joined DNT. She added that she believed that changing parties was insignificant so long as she was working for the country and her constituency.

She claimed in the post that she had attained maturity over the years with her association with DPT. “Finally, one critical reason that hinged me to politics has been being a woman.”

The DNT also announced one of its founding members and IT professional, Karma Dorji, 45, as its candidate for the Nganglam constituency in Pemagatshel. The Opposition Party has also confirmed its candidate in the constituency.

After losing the 2018 election to former MP Choida Jamtsho who recently died after consuming some wild plants as curry in a Wangdue village, Karma Dorji had ventured into the IT sector.

In a press note, he stated: “For the Nganglam constituency, we have promises to keep and aspirations to meet. And it is only through this golden opportunity of working with the party in the government that we can find the right solutions.”

“We all know that two unfortunate events, the sudden demise of parliament member Choida Jamtsho, and the resignation of home minister, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, led to the two bye-elections,” a press release from the party quoted him as saying. “And yet, we have to move on in keeping with the constitutional mandates.”

As the party in governance, he said the responsibility also fell on DNT to present two professionals with proven track records in Bhutan’s democratic process as a choice to the people.

“This is why we have well-meaning, sincere candidates who would like to make a difference in their constituencies through the ruling platform,” the party president said.

Dr Lotay Tshering reiterated that as much as the election was important, they would be mindful of the Covid-19 norms and seek to compliment efforts made by the entire nation throughout the process.

The DPT, which has been reduced to 16 seats in the National Assembly after it lost the Chhokhor-Tang bye-election to DNT, is expected to announce their candidates soon. The DNT has 31 members in the House.