With the election campaign period ending tomorrow, party presidents are rushing to meet the last voters before wrapping up their campaigns. Except for the president of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) who is in her home dzongkhag, Samdrupjongkhar, the presidents of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are in other dzongkhags. DNT president is in Dagana, DPT’s in Trongsa and PDP’s in Samdrupjongkhar.

BKP president Neten Zangmo, who was at Phuntshothang, Samdrupjongkhar yesterday said the party machinery especially at the local level is all about winning by hook or crook.

“That is the reality,” she said. “Duty to the King, country and people is just empty expression.” She said that if it is felt in the heart it should manifest in conduct.

That’s why people must now know what their responsibilities and duties are, and institutions have to bear that responsibility urgently, she said.

“You may pretend that things are hunky dory. They are not. For a small country it is not very healthy and it is still divisive,” she said. “Let’s ask ourselves if we are doing anything about it besides the rhetoric.”

Neten Zangmo said she is happy for taking part in politics. “I feel accomplished, being able to understand the country and the people better, and the realities,” she said.

She feels enriched but also sadness sometimes with the realities on the ground. One has so many opportunities to bring positive changes, she said. “That feeling is so great and energising and the freedom that you have when you are not bent on winning by hook or crook is so emancipating,” she said.   DNT President Lotay Tshering said it has been an enriching experience. He said he wanted to participate and he is getting this opportunity to participate for nation building.

“Win or lose DNT will have a name in the history,” he said. “Winning and losing is totally different in election. No body can predict and nothing is assured. I am so happy that things have gone well without any natural calamities, no major issues, and no major accidents. Our deities have been pleased and all political parties have done their best.”

Unlike 2013, DNT’s presence today is everywhere, which is very encouraging, he said. “I am happy that even in the villages we have sensible and democratically educated people. It is encouraging to hear villagers coming up to say that ‘we must change,” he said. “Nyamrup is all excited to form a real people’s government with people’s manifesto. It is all for the people.”

DPT President Pema Gymathso said the party is hoping for a good outcome. “I wish all the parties success in the election,” he said.

Irrespective of the election outcome, Pema Gyamtsho said, he would be happy. However, he urged voters to vote with conscience without being swayed by illegal means. “DPT looks forward to a successful election,” he said, expressing hope for a positive outcome for the party.

“During my tour as party president, supporters, party leaders and members were supportive. I would like to express my gratitude to them,” he said.

PDP president Tshering Tobgay said he has been sharing with the people that democracy is a gift from the throne and a responsibility given to every people.

Every vote, he said, will count and staying home thinking that one vote won’t matter is not right. “Equally important is voting very seriously because this is the only responsibility of our people,” he said.

He said that all the parties have worked very hard and even more people have come forward to attend every meeting. “I want to thank all the people for taking democracy seriously. I hope that the next few days will be free of problems and hope that everything goes well on the poll day,” he said. “Whatever the result may be, it’s the people’s result. This is the 9th voting exercise since 2008 and people really understand now. Personally, democracy was a huge opportunity for me. I got the opportunity to travel throughout the country and meet with the people. It was a huge gift and very fulfilling.”


Reported by: 

Tshering Palden, 

Nirmala Pokhrel, 

MB Subba, and 

Tshering Dorji