With the announcement of seven candidates yesterday, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has confirmed almost all the candidates contesting the upcoming election.

The party is awaiting the resignation of few more candidates who are currently in service.

Of the seven candidates the party pitched yesterday, three are former national council members, two are former secretaries, former director for city bus service and the former chief environmental officer of Punatshangchhu project.

The move also comes with the replacement of four serving MPs of the party.

The former foreign secretary Tshering Dorji is the PDP candidate from Kabjo-Talo constituency in Punakha. He will replace Dophu Drukpa.

In his career spanning 32 years as a civil servant, Tshering Dorji has served as home and foreign secretary and twice as Ambassadors, to Thailand and Bangladesh.

He also served as the Managing Director of National Housing Development Corporation and dzongdags of Samtse and Pemagatshel.

He has a Master of Science in Management from Arthur D. Little School of Management, Massachusetts, USA.

The former national council member of Samtse, Sangay Khandu is replacing MP Ritu Raj Chettri from Trachichhoeling.

Sangay Khandu began his political career as a gup in 1996 and went on to serve as a chimi. He has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Rangsit University in Thailand.

After representing Dagana in the National Council for two terms, Sonam Dorji will represent PDP from Drukjeygang-Tseza constituency this year. He will replace the current MP Karma Dorji.

Sonam Dorji has a Bachelors in Commerce from St. Joseph’s College, North Point and worked with Bank of Bhutan before joining politics in 2008.

With the speaker Jigme Zangpo reaching his age limit, the party has fielded former city bus service director, Sonam Dendup as it new candidate from Mongar constituency.

He also served as a program officer with the Ministry of Information and Communications, regional transport officer in Samdrupjongkhar and as the Project Director of the Chiphen Riphel Project.  Sonam Dendup has a Masters in Pubic Policy from the Australian National University, Australia.

The horse is fielding its old Lamgong-Wangchang candidate from Paro, Kaka Tshering. He was PDP’s candidate in the 2008 parliamentary elections. He was elected in 2013 as a national council reprentative from Paro. Kaka Tshering has a Masters in Education from University of New England, Australia and has served as a teacher and principal.

PDP will field former Cabinet Secretary, Kinzang Wangdi from Bartsham-Shongphu Constituency, Trashigang. He has worked for 19 year with the agriculture ministry, 11 years as the head of the livestock research programme in Bhutan and six years as dzongdag of Gasa, Wangduephodrang and Sarpang.

He also served for three years as the Secretary General in the National Assembly Secretariat before becoming the Cabinet Secretary. Kinzang Wangdi has a Masters of Science in Agronomy from Lincoln University, New Zealand.

The former chief environment officer of Punatsangchhu I Hydroelectric Project, Gongsar Karma Chhopel is the PDP candidate from Radhi-Sagteng Constituency in Trashigang.

He served as Water Resources Specialist and Quality Expert for Bhutan and overall focal person on water and aquatic resources. He has a Master of Science in Aquatic Biology from Texas State University, USA.

“Recognising the fact that there is a lack of credible and capable leaders joining politics, PDP has conscientiously worked towards attracting the best of the candidates to join the party,” a press release from the party stated.

One of the main priorities of PDP for 2018, according to the press release, is to provide a crop of credible leaders as choice for the people of Bhutan. “All our seven candidates are formidable leaders having served as parliamentarians and bureaucrats at the highest level of the government.”

Tshering Dorji