Choki Wangmo  

Amending national policies and laws to make it relevant to changing times and boosting local economy through tourism development dominated the Dagana’s National Council common forum at the Daga Central school on April 1.

The four aspiring candidates pledged to uphold the laws and policies according to the Constitution.

Drujeygang’s candidate, Dawa, said that the policies should change with changing times; he pledged to amend laws and policies if he gets selected.

With years of experience in the IT sector, he pledged to help formulate laws that would further the country’s digital vision. “Bhutan’s level of IT development cannot be compared with other countries. We are way behind.”

Coming from the legal background, Tseza gewog’s Tshechu pledged to resolve community issues in the dzongkhag while upholding national security and sovereignty. As a bridge between the government and the local government, he said, he would improve public service delivery and take up roles without discrimination.

The incumbent, Surjaman Thapa pledged to improve the local economy. Surjaman Thapa said that he would work towards reviving the economy by bringing in activities that would generate income while working closely to build communities.

Birendra Chimoria from Tsendagang said that equitable regional development could be achieved by bringing in tourists to the dzongkhag. The former physical education teacher said that there are inequalities among the regions.

He also pledged to play an active role in drafting impactful policies, keeping farmers who make up 60 percent of the population in mind.

“Dagana has many places of  historical importance. Opening these sites to tourists could help boost the economy,”  said Dawa.

Compared with the 2018 elections, the dzongkhag saw a drastic reduction in the number of candidates. In the last election, there were 21 candidates in the primary round from which only 10 made it to the final round.

Dagana has over 27,000 eligible voters and more than 2,500 have turned up for the dhamngoi dzomdu.

The last common forum in the dzongkhag is scheduled at Tseza gewog on April 7.