The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) announced its candidate for Trashigang’s Bartsham-Shongphu constituency yesterday.

Passang Dorji, 38 from Yangner Gewog is in his final year of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) project in International Relations at City University in Hong Kong where he is doing research on Bhutan’s Foreign Relations.

He has Masters in Management degree from the University of Canberra, Australia.

Passang Dorji started his career as an employment officer with the labour and human resources ministry. He later worked as the chief reporter with Bhutan Times and as a news editor with The Journalist.

He was also the first president of the Journalist Association of Bhutan (JAB) and founding member and board director of Bhutan Transparency Initiative.

As a consultant for UNDP, Passang Dorji helped developed the Five Year Strategic Plan (2014-2019) of The National Assembly and National Council of Bhutan.

“I think we must accept that Bhutan’s democracy is at the crossroads. I feel that the coming election will define the future trajectory of our democracy,” he said. “I’m interested to look into how politician could contribute towards nurturing democracy that transcends mere political interests that disrupt our socio-moral values and ethos.”

Passang Dorji added that Bhutan harbors a huge potential to cultivate a democratic culture that is not only harmonious, but also caring and non-divisive. “I would focus on contributing in these areas.”

According to the party’s press release, Passang Dorji brings along into politics a wide range of expertise and that his experiences in civil service, media, civil society, private sector, and the academia would enrich DPT in its pursuit of contributing to consolidating the Bhutanese democracy.

The Opposition Leader Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) said that Bartsham-Shongphu’s Wangdi Norbu has decided not to contest in the next election because of the health reasons.

Yangchen C Rinzin