The Thrompon elections

With the year slowly drawing to an end, we have a lot of things to look forward to in the New Year. High on the list is the local government elections, which could begin as early as January.

Some of the thromdes will see their elected Thrompon’s tenure come to an end by January. Yet there is hardly any talk about the Thrompon elections that are drawing near. Without any notification from the Election Commission of Bhutan, the actors, possible candidates cannot come to the fore. The only notification so far is a call for functional literacy possession test for the thromde thuemies.

There is ample time for the election commission. Setting the process of election and announcing the date on which the Commission calls for election can be done within 90 days before the date of expiration of duration of a local government. They will ensure that each local government is reconstituted on the date of a local government’s duration coming to an end.

But January is not far away and we want potential people to take their place. Declaring political ambitions may not be Bhutanese as much as keeping it to the last minute, but it is high time we start about the important election at the local level. The Election Commission is probably engaged with the Democracy House that will be consecrated this week, but even if the Commission starts notifying and calling for election this week or next, there is not much time left for the potential contesters if the elections is scheduled in January. It is wiser to come forward and take the responsibility.

Election of the 16 other Thrompons may happen at a later date, probably together with the gup elections. This is a good idea for the commission and the government as it would save time and money in terms of not having to field two or several rounds of returning officers and setting up election machineries.

Each of the 20 dzongkhags whether big or small will have a Thrompon. It is good for the thromdes, as an elected body at the local level would ensure development and amenities. Running 16 thromdes with a Thrompon and a team of his thuemies will be an expensive affair for the government. But the Parliament has decided and it is only wise for people to elect “the right or credible leaders.”

At this stage, we can only hope that if people are hesitant to step in the open and declare their interest, they are doing their groundwork including homework like identifying problems and solutions of their respective thromdes.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    Development to be carried out by the Thromde involves a well planned expenditure budget. It involves the agents of development to be chosen for the turn-key contracts and people will eventually accept their ownership senses. But for that to happen, it’s true that the potential candidates for Thrompon and his team of Thuemies should be getting ready by now and yet, any action is not possible unless there is the important notification from the ECB.

    A system like this is democratically impossible and still I wish something like this could have been made possible. A system where a future probable candidate for Thrompon and his dedicated team could have presented a detailed executive action plan which can be evaluated on the basis of its technical, management and financial merits. But for that to be possible there is a need for an appointed constitutional committee to select the best plan presented for a given duration. Responsibilities and Thromde duties could have been assigned to the best team with the best plan proposed.

    Still, everything is not possible in a democratic system. The elected political members of the NA representing the constituencies of which Thromde is the part can’t take much democratic duties at the Thromde level as they are the Elected Legislators. But when it comes to the people, their expectations and grievances about their cities/towns and its infrastructure and service deliveries are not very different. Their demands don’t necessarily differentiate among a legislator, a NC member and a Thrompon. At times, it can make leadership a highly confusing practice when they are supposed to do the right things.

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