… other parties welcome the news 

Nima Wangdi and Sonam Yangtsho  

With one more political party being formed, Bhutan could have five parties contesting the elections in 2023. The party doesn’t have a name yet.

National Land Commission’s Secretary, Dasho Pema Chewang is going to be its president. He is resigning from the commission on Monday.

“The name, charter, and symbols of the party will be announced after the party gets registered with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) soon,” a press release from the aspiring party’s communication unit stated. “As of today, the party has 25 confirmed candidates.”

The press release stated that the party will be processing for registration with the ECB by end of this month after which the candidates, ideology, and manifesto will be revealed.

However, the party’s communication unit said one of the party’s guiding principles is to achieve inclusive prosperity by recognising every household as the foundation of the national economy.

Dasho Pema Chewang said that the regionally-balanced development, equal opportunity and participation of all social groups in governance, economic transformation by leveraging on technology and strong leadership are some of the party’s initial focus.

“We are just out of the worst public health crisis and our economy, including the global economy, has taken a bad hit. Our young and talented lots are leaving the country for better opportunities,” Dasho Pema Chewang said.

“It is at this time that we need to build our character, the character of our democracy, of our society, of our economy, the character of our nation,” he said.

The press note stated, “After registration, the party is looking forward to interacting with the people and other stakeholders to mainstream its vision with the reality on the ground.” Groundworks have also been almost completed by now and the party will start working in full swing from next week making up for the late start.

He said that given his age and experience, he believes that he can take on greater responsibilities to answer the call of the nation.

Dasho Pema Chewang is from Kanglung-Udzorong-Samkhar constituency in Trashigang.

Druk Phunsum Tshogpa’s General Secretary, Sonam Tashi said that the coming of a new party was good as it adds to the choice for the people. “More political parties could contribute to building a healthier political system in the country.”

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s General Secretary Phurba said they welcome the new party. He said more political parties are better for the country and democracy.

He said the way we work may be different but the visions are the same for all. “Whoever comes to the power will be serving the country.”

“People generally think that the political parties see each other as enemies which is wrong,” he said. “We are not enemies but valuable options for the people.”