Four people have expressed their intentions to contest as thrompon in the third Thimphu thromde election, which will be held on April 28.
The nomination of candidates in the seven constituencies of the thromde will begin on March 20 and end on March 23. Voters can nominate one thrompon candidate from each constituency.
One of the first to express his intention to contest the election was Ugyen Dorji, who resigned recently as an executive engineer and deputy chief urban planner of Thimphu thromde.
The 40-year-old from Jungshina-Kawajangsa constituency said that his work experience and academic background gave him the confidence to contest the thromde election.
He worked in Thimphu thromde for 11 years. He also worked as an assistant lecturer in the Jigme Namgyel Engineering College in Dewathang.
He has an MBA from the University of Canberra, Australia and a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the College of Science and Technology in Phuentsholing.
He also has certificates in application of GIS for urban planning and urban management; and building public-private partnerships from the Netherlands.
“I resigned to contest for the thromde election because I thought I had the right experience and qualification. Given a chance, I feel that I can fulfil people’s aspirations,” he said.
Ugyen Dorji said that he would prioritise good urban governance to address water shortages, waste problems, potholes and drainage problems. “These problems will be addressed through good urban governance, which is my priority.”
The characteristics of urban good governance, he said, were transparency, equity, sustainability, accountability and engagement of citizens in the development process.
Another aspiring candidate is Kinley Tshering, who is working as a consultant in the private sector in Thimphu.
The 45-year-old from Changzamtog has a Bachelors in Business Administration (management) from Spicer Memorial College in India.
He worked as a manager in Tashi Bank Limited before resigning to join the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) as South Thimphu candidate in the 2018 parliamentary election.
“My intention is to serve people irrespective of whether it’s from Parliament or the local government,” he said, adding that his interaction with people of Thimphu thromde had helped him understand the issues facing the thromde.
Sewerage, roads and drainage, Kinley Tshering said, would be some of his priorities. “For instance, the frequent sewerage leakages in Norzin Lam in front of the Norling building should be fixed.”
He said that he had plans to solve all the problems. “I follow social media to understand the issues.”
Sonam Dorji from Taba is also preparing for the election.
The 31-year-old, who worked in the private sector, said that he had a vision for a “new Thimphu” that will be more “liveable” for all residents.
He said that the post of thrompon was one of the platforms for him to achieve his vision. “All my priorities and plans will be in line with the vision. For example, I’ll focus on clean, efficient and high-tech water distribution system to make the city more liveable.”
Sonam Dorji said that in the 21st century, water was not only a basic essential but also a fundamental human right. “The sewerage system would be improved.”
He said the issues of water shortages, potholes and housing would be prioritised and the quality of maintenance work enhanced.
He has a Bachelors of Technology in Civil Engineering, which he says will come handy if elected.
The former thrompon Kinlay Dorjee will contest from Babesa, South Thimphu for a third term.
He was the lone candidate in the second Thimphu thromde election. Kuensel ran a story on his intention to recontest in an earlier issue. He said that his priorities have changed after completion of two terms.
He says that he would improve the services that are already put in place and work on developmental activities that he couldn’t implement during his two terms.
“Serving the people, city, and my King gives me satisfaction at the end of the day. I want to continue,” he said.
The campaign period will start on April 2 and end at 8am of April 26. This means that candidates will have more than 24 days for campaigning.
Thimphu thromde, the largest city with a population of about 150,000, has some of the complex issues to address.
Residents say that water shortages, bursting of sewerage and potholes are the biggest problems.
A resident in Changzamtog said that dust pollution was the main problem in his area. “Our business has been affected because the work has destroyed the parking space,” he said.
The ongoing sewerage line replacement and installation of underground cable duct project along Zamdo Lam in Changzamtog has been causing major inconveniences to the public.