Tashi Phuntsho 

Pemagatshel — In a bid to stimulate economic growth, candidates contesting for the Nanong-Shumar constituency unveiled plans to transform Pemagatshel into a vibrant tourism hub. 

The People Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) underscored their commitment to prioritise tourism as a primary source of income for the region. 

PDP’s Nanong-Shumar constituency candidate, Pema Wangchuk, pledged to attract tourists through projects such as birding, wildlife initiatives, watchtowers, homestays, and ecotourism. To revive the local economy, he pledged to study the feasibility of establishing a medium international airport in the eastern dzongkhags. The candidate highlighted four entry points from Nganglam, Samdrupjongkhar, Jomotshangkha, and Panbang to promote tourism. 

The PDP candidate committed to boosting tourism by constructing an eco-trail from Pemagatshel to Trashigang and from Pemagatshel to Assam via Samdrupjongkhar. Pema Wangchuk also pledged subsidised housing loans at a 4 percent interest rate and the reintroduction of central schools based on requirements. His manifesto covers sectors such as economy, education, health, agriculture, rural development, road infrastructure, water management, civil service, local government, employment, and public service.  

BTP candidate Yeshey Jamtsho pledged to fast-track business approvals, permits, clearances, and regulations for swift public service delivery. The candidate said that his party would create temporary employment opportunities for Class 12 and college graduates, along with constructing cold storage facilities and installing chain link fencing in all gewogs.   

Jamtsho committed to building new farm roads and bridges, improving base course farm and feeder roads, and blacktopping existing roads. Addressing water supply issues in various gewogs, constructing a road for sand extraction, and resolving gypsum truckers’ problems were among his other specific promises.

As the electoral race unfolds, both candidates urged voters to choose a government capable of serving the nation and constituency effectively. The public debate, attended by engaged voters, played a pivotal role in helping individuals make informed decisions ahead of the upcoming elections. 

Yeshey Jamtsho, 49, has a Master of Banking and Finance from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and a Bachelor of Arts from Punjab University, Chandigarh. His work experience includes 25 years of service in Bhutan Development Bank.

Pema Wangchuk, 43, is from Nanong gewog and holds a Master of Legal Studies from the University of Canberra and a Postgraduate Certificate in Management from Southern Cross University, Australia. With a career spanning two decades, he has worked in both government and the private sector.

In the primary election, PDP secured 1,559 votes, while BTP came second with 1,536 votes in the Nanong-Shumar constituency. The constituency, with 17 polling stations, has 10,553 registered voters, including 5,381 females.