The two-day no-campaign period begins today. This means 48 hours from now the nation will go to the poll for the first round of the third National Assembly election.

For the party candidates and constituents, it has been a long and tiring journey what with relentless campaigning and party meetings in the constituencies.

Elections are a difficult experience for any democratic society. Because the whole idea of election is based on offering the best choices to the electorate, campaigns could be hard and divisive at times.

In Bhutan, though, because we aspire for a democracy that is of the kind that could be offered as an example to the rest of the world, we are more serious. But are we doing enough?

At this point of the nation’s journey, we have had enough lessons to take home. When the whole nation is working for a free and fair election, unnecessary meddling from here and there is a painful reality. But victory must be celebrated, that of the people’s choice. We have always been a fiercely independent society because of which peace, stability, and progress have been a boon through the generations.

So it should be. If elections are causing disruptions and divisions, we as voters must read the lines in the campaign messages and draw the promises along the line with national objectives. We need good roads, of course, and efficient service delivery system. More importantly, how do we become a soft global power that we have always aspired to be?

All elections are important and they will be fought along the urgent needs of the nation. We have arrived at a crossroads. How prepared are we to align our needs with that of our aspiration to play a role on the global stage? Maybe this is too far a dream for Bhutan.

We have weeks in our hands before we head to the general round of election. It is important that we go to the poll with clear head more than small mind.

The good fortune on our side is that our people have been wise always.