Lingmukha – Toedwang, Punakha

Registered voters: 7,807 | Male: 3,815 | Female: 3,992

Gyambo Sithey (PhD)

Age: 51

Work experience: Author of ‘Drukyul Decides’ and researcher, served as the national nutrition programme manager and as a World Bank Project Coordinator for HIV and AIDS in the Ministry of Health for 12 years before, joined in the private sector in 2008.

Education: Master of Science in Nutrition, a Post-graduate Degree in Public Administration and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Sydney in Australia

What are two “hot button” political words for you?

A significant issue impacting 20 districts is the privatization of Chubu Tshchu, a hot spring. Previously, people could pitch tents on government land for affordable stays. Now, under privatization, tent pitching is prohibited, and individuals must rent a room or pay land rent. This situation creates a disparity where individuals facing economic constraints must curtail their visits to the hot spring, limiting their healing stay. To address this, there is a unanimous demand to allow people who can’t afford it to pitch their own tents. The second issue is human-wildlife conflict, demanding a thoughtful resolution.

Looks matter over the brain in politics.

While intelligence, policy expertise, and trustworthiness are critical attributes for political candidates, the significant role of money in garnering votes, especially in rural areas, cannot be underestimated.

Does experience matter when entering the political field? Why?

Yes, experience is pivotal in the political field as it can equip candidates with the insights, skills, and networking to adeptly handle the election campaigns, resulting in a substantial advantage over a novice.

One thing you want to change about politics? 

Given the chance to reshape politics, I propose the incorporation of advanced technology to reduce unlawful activities. For instance, requiring all political candidates and their coordinators to wear tracking wristbands during the election period would ensure adherence to schedules and facilitate easier monitoring.

Your top priority for the constituency. Why? 

The persistent issue of water scarcity for cultivation demands a decisive solution. Instead of periodic attempts to appease the electorate with piecemeal efforts, it is imperative to prioritize a comprehensive resolution. For example, a lasting investment in state-of-the-art irrigation channels is the key to addressing water scarcity.

The sale of alcohol has been liberalised recently. Do you think it is a good idea? 

The liberalization of bar licenses is an inevitable step in a free market and a necessary element to curb both the exorbitant rental of existing licenses and the illegal sale of alcohol. Furthermore, the significant number of bar licenses issued in Bhutan prior to liberalization suggests that its impact on alcohol consumption may be limited. However, to effectively minimize potential societal impacts, it is crucial to accompany this liberalization with robust regulatory frameworks and enforcement.

How will you hold yourself accountable for the promises you make during your campaign?

To start, I will make realistic pledges aligned with the 13th Five-Year Plan. Subsequently, updates on the progress and challenges will be provided to the constituency. Furthermore, engaging in periodic consultations will empower the voters to actively hold me accountable.

Namgay Wangchuk

Age: 45

Work experience: 19 years of work experience. Teacher (2004-2007), Member of parliament (2008-2013), President of Association of Bhutanese in Perth, Australia (2019-2020). Managing director at Beconsfield Private Limited, C/O Amanda solar gird, Perth, Western Australia (2014-2023).

Education: Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management

What are two “hot button” political words for you?

i. Criticizing: Politicians critiquing opponents while spreading fear-based propaganda to gain support undermines the essence of healthy political discourse. It’s crucial to address concerns without resorting to tactics that instill fear or manipulate public sentiment.

ii. Discrimination: Drawing false distinctions between officials based on superficial factors like scarf color undermines the democratic process. Such misleading practices erode the public’s trust in the electoral system and undermine the essence of fair representation.

Looks matter over the brain in politics. Comment.

Appearances in politics can serve as a preliminary way for candidates to connect with voters, showcasing their readiness for leadership. However, true trust and confidence in politics are not built on appearances alone; they stem from a candidate’s intellect, expertise, and proven ability to navigate complex issues. While initial impressions matter, a candidate’s competence, experience, and problem-solving skills play a far more substantial role in effective governance and serving the public’s interests.

Does experience matter when entering the political field? Why?

Yes, because the political parties’ electoral fortunes depend heavily on the experience of the leader and his fellow candidates. Experience, even outside politics, significantly influences a leader’s ability to serve constituents effectively. Exposure to diverse disciplines fosters a broader perspective on governance, enabling better decision-making and policy formulation, ultimately benefitting the people.

One thing you want to change about politics? 

Political interference in voters’ choices through corrupt practices must cease. Genuine democratic choice should prevail, free from manipulation by candidates or their supporters. The integrity of the electoral process should be upheld to ensure fair representation.

Your top priority for the constituency. Why? 

Prioritizing agricultural and rural development, ensuring basic amenities like safe drinking water and infrastructure improvements, alongside healthcare and education enhancements, will directly address the current needs of the constituency, fostering holistic progress.


The sale of alcohol has been liberalised recently. Do you think it is a good idea? 

Respecting both people’s liberty and parliamentary decisions on alcohol sales, any changes should be based on thorough research and evaluation. Future alterations should align with societal needs and concerns, ensuring responsible regulation.

Do you think that the candidates should be held accountable for the promises they make during their campaign?

Yes, candidates must make feasible and legally binding pledges. Upholding truthfulness and accountability foster trust, crucial for effective governance. Ensuring promises are kept reinforces public trust and confidence in the political process.