Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) party leaders agreed to visit dzongkhags to revitalise their networks and supporters across the country at the DPT’s first annual general meeting on August 26.

More than 80 party coordinators and members gathered from across the country to attend the first general meeting in the past four years.

The party must start strengthening the support in the constituents, the coordinators told party leaders at the meeting.

A party coordinator from Chukha, Namgay said, “Our party workers are receiving calls from other political parties to work for them and some have even joined them as they have relatives in those parties.”

“The visit by party leaders will definitely boost the morale of the party supporters,” Trashigang party coordinator, Gembo said.

DPT’s president Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) said the coordinators will get a tour schedule of the president and the two vice-presidents within a month. “We’ll not rush but take it steadily,” he said.

A party member from Tsirang, Yangku Tshering Sherpa, said the party has to put in place a vibrant communication system. “Otherwise, we don’t know what’s going on with the party and its plans.”

The president said that the party would create such a platform soon and that party coordinators have already initiated such groups on social media. “Please be careful of what you share on these platforms, keep it professional and speak of matters only related to party affairs,” he cautioned.

Despite not meeting for four years, the president said that support for the party and the commitment of the workers have remained “strong and healthy”.

“While a batch of senior members would not be contesting in the elections, we’ll always draw on their wisdom, guidance and voluntary monetary contributions,” Pema Gyamtsho said.

DPT Gasa coordinator, Kinley Penjor, said that the party needs to be mindful of its expenditure in the run up to the 2018 elections. “We’ve to learn from the previous elections and be prudent this time,” he said. “If need be, cut down on the coordinators in the gewogs and chiwogs.”

The president said that the party office, with three staff, was operating on the 12 percent contributions from the 14 Members of Parliament (MPs).

The party’s vice president, Panbang MP Dorji Wangdi, said that their party remains the most active, organised, and democratic one to date. “Ours is the top party that has produced 60 MPs in two rounds of elections and with many experienced candidates.”

DPT’s vice president for parliamentary affairs, Ugyen Wangdi, said that in the past four years, none of the opposition MPs were given a chance to serve as committee chairpersons in the National Assembly against the precedent set by the DPT government earlier. “But the tasks of chairpersons in some committees were performed by our MPs on critical times given their experience and in the interest of the nation.”

The members also unanimously re-elected Pema Gyamtsho as the president, Dorji Wangdi and Ugyen Wangdi as vice presidents for party affairs and parliamentary affairs respectively.

The meeting also endorsed the guidelines for the nomination and selection of candidates.

Tshering Palden