Mongar constituency, Mongar

Registered voters: 11,669 | Male: 5,558 | Female: 6,111

Naiten Wangchuk

Age: 50

Work experience: 24 years in Civil Service and corporate sector

Education: MSc. Animal Science and sustainable Development

What do you like about your opponent?

For being the good opposition during the first government despite being represented by just two members.

What comes first – economic development or democracy? 

Democracy should come first as economic development requires stable governance which can only be provided if the democracy is well rooted.

One thing in the electoral process that can be improved..

In the electoral process, vetting of manifesto by Independent Evaluation Committee is very undemocratic which undermines the functions of the Election Commission of Bhutan. After all, our manifesto is developed with thorough consultation with public and all the relevant institutions to yield the development with efficiency and effective outcome. Thus, party should be given a liberty to have a good manifesto to garner support from public.

Talk is rife that PDP will sweep the general elections. Why?  

All talks are just a speculation. At times it would be wise for those speculators to refer back to past history of general election results and wait with patience till the result is declared.

Why would you be a better representative for Mongar?

My continued strong affinity with Mongar communities both in private and professional life gives me confidence to be a better representative. 

If elected, one change you would bring to Mongar?

I would prioritize more on:  enhancing public service delivery; developing agro-based rural enterprise with emphasis on food processing and marketing infrastructure with employment opportunities for youth; improving quality of road and its connectivity; and enhancing access to clean and safe drinking water for good sanitation and health.

If you lose this election, why would it be?

I don’t foresee myself losing an election. If ever it happens, then it would be due to mismatch of my vision and public’s priority.

Sonam Dendup 

Age: 48

Work experience: Regional Transport Officer, Deputy Planning Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, Project Director for Chirphen Rigphel Project, Director for City Bus Service under Bhutan Post and GM under DCCL

Education: Mater of Public Policy from Australian National University 

What do you like about your opponent? 

What I like about my opponent is he comes from a humble family background like me. 

What comes first-economic development or democracy? 

Democracy and economic development should go hand in hand. The late introduction of democracy in Bhutan was a blessing for us as we have opportunity to learn both success and mistakes from others. The good system of democracy gives plate form for the people to advance in terms of social, environment, cultural and economic. In a country where economic development and democracy do not go hand in hand, we have seen war, bloodsheds, social and economic crisis etc. 

One thing in the electoral process that we can improve.

While most voters are aware of the electoral process in the country, there seems to be significant portion of people who require voters advocacy especially living in the rural areas. I have personally observed that the voter turnout during the common forum is not up to the expectation and therefore voters are unlikely to vote if they are not aware of the importance of election. Furthermore, there seems to be lots of restrictions from ECB that limits the interaction between candidates and voters in general. 

Talk is rife that PDP will sweep the general elections. Why?   

It is evident from the result of the primary election where the difference in votes between PDP and BTP was huge. PDP has secured 39 seats out of 47 seats while BTP has secured only 4 seats including 3 from east and 1 from the west. This is unlikely to change even during the general election which is scheduled on 9th January 2024. I do not agree with BTP president saying that the general round is a fresh start of game and the result is likely to change. Perhaps he is saying this to change the mind set of the voters who thinks that the PDP will form the next Government. 

Why would you be a better representative for Mongar? 

Having served in Government, Corporate and private organization for more than 23 years in various capacity, I think its time for me to serve my people with such experience. Further, being born and raised in the village, I understand, the problem, issues and challenges faced by the people living in rural villages. 

If elected, one change you would bring to Mongar? 

If elected, I would like to take up “Pongchula” airport as my top priority while other pledges and developmental activities will follow naturally with times. If this project is taken up with immediate effect, this is going to bring immense development not only to Mongar but whole of eastern Bhutan. We will see lots of prospect for business development both in urban and rural areas with lots of tourist flowing in. 

If you lose this election, why would it be? 

I am very confident of winning this election base on my primary election result. However, if I lose this election, it’s people’s choice and we must accept and respect the verdict with full dignity as I strongly believe that there is no winner and loser in election in reality, it’s the people who wins at the end.