To contest in the 2013 parliamentary elections, Dorji Cheten, left his job as a Bhutan National Bank manager in Gelephu. However, he didn’t get through the gewog nominations.

That has not deterred the 37-year old former banker. He has decided to re-contest in the upcoming parliamentary elections as a National Council candidate for Zhemgang next year. There are already about six aspiring candidates for the Council from Zhemgang

He said he is driven by the sense of contributing to the nation through participation in the parliament.

“I was jobless for about five months.” After he lost, he worked as a director in a private firm called Karma Group for over two years. “Despite my failure, I did not lose hope. Instead, it deepened my commitment to continue the journey.”

He had worked for 10 years with BNB.

Apart from co-founding Big Way, a business entity, he attended the Senior Executive Leadership Programme (SELP-7) at the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (RIGSS) last year.

Dorji Cheten aspires to promote democracy based on Tha-damtse. “Candidates participate based on the need of the country. We share that mutual responsibility for the benefit of the nation.”

He has a Bachelors in Commerce from Sherubtse College and a Masters degree in International Economics and Finance from Chulalonghorn University, Bangkok.

Having spent most of his early childhood in Patang, Phangkar, he said that people relied heavily on mandarin in Zhemgang. However, today it is a challenge to derive income from mandarin.

“My focus is on agro-based business and eco-tourism as we already have access to electricity, roads, and infrastructure. With my experience, I can easily link the community to the regional and international markets.”

He said that as his interests lie in economics, finance and business, he could contribute to developing Zhemgang.

Public servant’s leadership, he said, and leadership of the self was important. “I see myself as a committed public servant. Politics is uncertain but I will continue to strive to work for the greater benefit of the country.”

As a GNH country, it was time to come up with legislations that address social security. “Propositions such as universal pension care or national disability pension, or even unemployment insurance could be looked at.”

He said he is confident to serve, represent, and fulfil the interest of the people. “This is my life-long commitment and I will respect people’s conscience and wisdom,” he said. “We live in information era, have access to education, and everything is possible these days. Only the bond of unity needs to be maintained irrespective of politics.”

Rinchen Zangmo