With only a week to go for the government to dissolve, political parties are giving final touches to their manifestos.

The parties will unveil their manifestos detailing the programmes and policies they would implement after the election commission issues a notification calling the election.  Manifestos are one of the most important bases for the electorate to make their choice.

People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) media team said that the party’s manifesto is in the final stages of its draft and that it would soon be ready for release.

On if the manifesto would be different from that of 2013, the team said priorities have changed with the needs of time. However, the team said that the manifesto would be in line with the party’s ideology of decentralisation.

“Bhutan has changed a lot in the last five years. Priorities will be incorporated according to the changes,” they said.

The team said that their manifesto would be reflective of the party’s achievements and experience as the government and opposition. “It will be released soon,” the team said.

General secretary of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), Sangay Phurba, said the party has finalised its manifesto, which is aligned with its ideology of equity and justice. “The manifesto would be presented to a general assembly for review and endorsement,” he said.

According to him, the manifesto has given priorities to all the sectors. “The manifesto is ready. We have focused on all areas,” he said.

The party says it strives to promote unity, integration, and human rights of the highest standards through equity, social justice, legal, administrative and security safeguards and services for all sections of the society.

BKP’s vice president Sonam Tobgay said the party manifesto is in its advanced draft based on consultations in all 47 constituencies. “It is a bottoms up approach benefitting all Bhutanese people, leaving no one behind. To uplift the morale of the civil servants, BKP will make attempts to eliminate all forms of nepotism and discrimination while rewarding meritocracy and talent.”

BKP’s manifesto is titled as “A self-reliant Bhutan: our concern our responsibility” forging collective efforts to reach that shared destiny. “BKP will not leave anyone behind by reaching the unreached while also acknowledging the potential of development actors like the private sector, farmers, youth and the civil servants.”

The manifesto, he said, is broad-based and regionally balanced in terms of economic development and growth reinforcing social development through equal opportunities.

“It encompasses our effort towards building a caring society, a vibrant democracy and a resilient economy keeping in mind our timeless value of Ley-Jumdrey Tha-Damtsi,” he said.

At a recent press conference, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) spokesperson Dr Tandi Dorji said the party has completed two rounds of familiarisation tours and that the party is ready. “We have completed the first draft of the manifesto and a consultative discussion on the draft has been carried out. The priorities of the manifesto would be focused on the party’s ideology of narrowing the gap.

“Soon we would be working on our manifesto with our media team to release it as and when the election commission announces the election dates,” he said.

Materials required for the election, he said, have already been developed and the party is waiting for the election commission to announce the date.

The party, Dr Tandi Dorji said, has plans to have a retreat of all candidates to prepare themselves for the election. During the meeting all the candidates would be appraised about the manifesto and candidates can work on their Dzongkha skills.

MB Subba