Dechen Dolkar 

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) announced 21 candidates from 15 dzongkhags for the upcoming elections, yesterday. Out of 21 candidates, six of them are new candidates and the rest are old candidates who contested in past elections.

The party declared Kuenzang Thinley, 39, to represent the Chokor_Tang constituency from Bumthang.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with specialisation in marketing from the University of Bengaluru, India. Kuenzang worked for 14 years in the tourism and hospitality industry. In 2019, he was elected as the General Secretary of the Hotel Association of Bumthang and worked to enhance infrastructure and promote tourism in the region. 

Sonam Rinchen, 64, will represent Chhumig_Ura constituency. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Pennsylvania State University in the United States.  Before joining politics in 2018, Sonam Rinchen had been a civil servant for 15 years. From 2014 until his retirement in 2018, Sonam Rinchen served as the Trongsa Dzongdag. 

Sonam Dorji will represent the Drujegang_Tseza constituency in Dagana. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from St. Joseph’s College in West Bengal. He began his political journey as a member of the National Council. He also worked for the Bank of Bhutan for eight years. 

Sonam Penjore will contest from Kengkhar_Weringla Constituency in Mongar. He has a Master’s in Business Management from Australia. He worked in the financial sector for 18 years starting with Bhutan Development Finance Corporation. Between 2013, after resigning from politics, and this year, he served as CEO of numerous private companies, as National Consultant for ADB and World Bank and lastly, as the entrepreneurship trainer for the government. 

Sonam Dendup, 47, will contest from Mongar constituency. He holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Australian National University and a BA (Honours) from Sherubtse College. He has experience in transport, management, planning, and businesses with various organisations, including the government, corporations, and private sector spanning over 22 years.

Gem Tshering will contest from Dokar_ Sharpa constituency in Paro. The former CEO of Bhutan Power Corporation Limited is an engineer with experience in the power sector, having worked in various positions with Chukha HPC and Bhutan Power Corporation, and also as an entrepreneur. 

Lekden Zangmo, 40, will represent PDP in Khar_Yurung constituency in Pemagatshel.  She has a master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy from Nagarjuna University in India and a Bachelor of Education from Paro College of Education and a PG Diploma in counselling from Samtse College of Education. She has been a teacher for 16 years in various schools. 

Younten Phuntsho, 42, will contest from Jomotshangkha_Martshala constituency in Samdrupjongkhar. He has a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, USA. From Sherubtse College, he obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Forestry from the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehradun, India.

He served in both government and international organisations for more than 13 years.

DN Dhungyel will represent Phuentshopelri constituency in Samtse. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the prestigious Institute of Management Studies and Research in India. Before entering the realm of politics in 2013, he served as a Marketing Manager at Bhutan Ferro Alloys Ltd. He then worked as an International Marketing Manager at Natural Resources PTE Ltd in Singapore. 

Sangay Khandu will represent Tashicholing constituency from Samste. 

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Rangsit University, Thailand.  He has over 22 years of experience in the Bhutanese parliament serving as a gup, Member of Parliament and chairperson of the dzongkhag tshogdu.

Mani Kumar Pradhan will contest from Ugyentse-Yoeseltse constituency from Samste. He has a Master’s in MIS from George Washington University and was one of the first Bhutanese IT graduates.  He established an IT firm in the private sector, consulted on various projects, and coordinated health and environmental data surveys.

Dr Tek Bahadur Rai, a retired RBA Colonel, will contest from the Shompangkha constituency in Sarpang.  Dr Rai has MBBS and MD in Internal Medicine from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune University, India. He has served the Tsa Wa Sum for 41 years in the Royal Bhutan Army.

Tshewang Rinzin will contest from the South Thimphu constituency. He has an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. 

He is a former Member of Parliament, National Council and former Dzongdag of Chukha, Trongsa, and Thimphu. He served both in the Schools and education sectors.

Kinzang Wangdi will contest from Bartsham_Shongphu constituency in Trashigang. He has a Master of Science in Agronomy from Lincoln University in New Zealand.  Before entering politics, he spent 19 years working with the agriculture ministry. He then served as Dzongdag in Gasa, Wangduephodrang, and Sarpang for six years. He served as Secretary-General in National Assembly Secretariat, before his appointment in 2015 as the Cabinet Secretary.

Norbu Wangchuk will represent Kanglung_Samkhar_Udzorong constituency.  As a certified global trainer on neuroscience-based leadership and a professional speaker, he travels the world promoting leadership with emotional intelligence. 

Lhakpa Tshering Tamang, 33, will represent the Sergithang_Tsirangtoed constituency in Tsirang. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration specialising in marketing from Gedu College of Business Studies. He served as the Chief Executive Officer at Amen Bhutan Tours and Treks and Bhutan Real Estate.

Kinley Dorji, 33, will contest from Khamdang_Ramjar constituency in Trashiyangtse.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Bhutanese and Himalayan Studies from the College of Language and Culture Studies.He began his career as an assistant procurement officer in a private firm. In 2017, he became Gewog Administration Officer (GAO) and served in Toetsho and Jamkhar gewogs in Trashiyangtse. 

Namgay Dorji will represent Draagteng-Langthil, Trongsa. He holds an LLB degree from the Government Law College, University of Bombay, India. He has over 25 years of experience in the banking and private sectors.

Tandin Wangchuk will represent Athang_Thedtsho constituency from Wangdue.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Hans Raj College, University of Delhi.  He worked in a major private construction company in various capacities from 1993 to 2004. 

Lungten Dorji will contest from Panbang constituency. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sherubtse College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the International Institute of Public Administration in Paris, France.  He worked in the government for almost three decades. He also served as Director General of the Department of Local Governance, MoHCA, from 2016 to 2018.

Lekey Dorji will represent the Bardo_Trong constituency from Zhemgang.

He has an MSc. in Operational Telecommunications management from Coventry University, England and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA. He served as a civil servant, corporate executive, entrepreneur, start-up investor, and consultant to ADB, World Bank, DANIDA, JICA, and several private firms. 

So far, the party has declared 42 candidates.