After confirming its candidates, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) kicked off its campaign for the general election meeting with the business representatives in Thimphu on September 22.

The following day, the party president Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) sought blessings from the Machhen Lhakhang in Punakha dzong and headed to campaign in Dagana. He leaves for Tsirang today.

Pema Gyamtsho said the party is quite weak in Tsirang, Dagana and Sarpang. “I was not able to meet the people in these dzongkhags before the primaries and this could be one of the reasons why we did not win in these three dzongkhags,” he said. “There is a possibility to turn around.”

He said the party coordinators and supporters from south requested him to visit these dzongkhags. “Our priority is here for now,” he said.

The president will spend a day campaigning in Tsirang and then leave for Sarpang tomorrow evening where he will spend two days. He will walk to Laya on September 30.

En route to Dagana, the president met the people of Sankosh. DPT pledged to start the construction of Sankosh Hydropower Project, should they get the mandate to form the government. This is in line with their manifesto to execute at least three hydropower projects and to increase power generation target of the country.

The DPT claims that it has the experience to run the government with three candidates who has served as ministers between 2008 and 2013, in addition to four candidates who have served as MPs for two terms and another nine who served for a term.

Allaying rumours that DPT is on the look for potential candidates, a press release from the party stated that replacing the candidates with new face at the penultimate hours of elections is against the party’s principles. Notwithstanding the fact that DPT lost with substantial number of votes in few constituencies, the party claims that all its candidates are competent enough and committed to serve Tsawa-Sum.

In the primary round on September 15, DPT came a close second winning 90,020 votes. The party says its edge in the election is the proven track record as government and opposition in serving the Tsawa Sum. Strengthening sovereignty, security and self-sufficiency is high on its priority list.

Tshering Dorji