We are prepared and we are excited, but I also would like to say we are humbled that we have this opportunity to offer our services to Tsawa-Sum.
We have a fantastic group of candidates. We have a good manifesto and we are ready.
What is the biggest challenge for your party this election?
I think the challenge for all political parties is still to keep it as clean as possible and not engaging in bribery, slander and lies.
We cannot have politics based on divisiveness. One of the challenges specific to PDP will be anti-incumbency. If the government for whatever reasons has failed the people, was corrupt, was dangerous, did not deliver its promises and made matters worse economically and socially, we have to get rid of that government.
But anti-incumbency because “lets give somebody else a chance”? That is dangerous because democracy is not a game.
How would your party ensure that the upcoming elections are clean?
We talk about ourselves. Now, if politicians attack PDP, we have to clarify. We may even have to counter-attack and that’s the danger. We will talk about our own agenda, future and results.
But if they say that we will be charged for hospital services, close schools, loans are going to be distributed among the people and we have been irresponsible in taking loans, we have to clarify.
Which party do you see as your biggest competitor?
The biggest competitor to PDP is PDP itself. We are a strong party, have a strong agenda, good vision and good track record. We have good support base and from what I hear, things are looking good for PDP. The day we get cocky and confident, that is the day we lose the elections. The danger will not come so much from outside than from inside.
What would be the first change you would initiate should your party form the government?
Given that the last five years has gone remarkably well, there has to be continuity. Our economy has been stabilised and there is unity among the people. We have implemented the 11th Plan successfully.
What is the first thing we will change? Ensure continuity – peace, unity stability and prosperity among our people.
The biggest challenge will be the 12thPlan. The 12th Plan is worth Nu 336B and it represents huge opportunities for us to take our country from least developed country to a middle-income country.
The election laws allow candidates to swap after the primary round. The law review task force does not recommend it. How does your party see this practice?
The law review task force has raised some concerns but our electoral laws allow it. My position is, in the service of Tsawa-sum, no stones should be left unturned. If PDP is fortunate to get through the primary round and if there is a better option in terms of a better candidate, we have to grab him or her because it is not about the party, it’s about our country and our people.
The country has completed a decade of democratic governance. What has Bhutan lost and gained?
Our people have been pushed out of our comfort zone. Suddenly our people realised that we have to take responsibility as citizens.
In some ways, being removed from this comfort zone can be considered a loss. But it is good for Bhutan. The risk is that politicians tend to act as if they know everything and refuse to take people in confidence. If that happens, that would be Bhutan’s biggest loss.