Preparations have been rigorous. Getting candidates was tough. We are ready.
What is the biggest challenge for your party this election?
The biggest challenge is cutting through the mindset of people on the perception of politicians. People should look beyond dirty politics and see the opportunities that lie there in looking at politics as a big responsibility of all citizens.
As of now, with the attitude of the passive observer, politics is becoming divisive. There is distrust in community, at homes because members belong to different parties. Hopefully, at some point in time, people will mature and take responsibility in defining Bhutanese politicians or GNH politicians. Hopefully, that would be an instrument to unify us and build a more harmonious nation.
How would your party ensure that the upcoming elections are clean?
BKP is here to redefine politics and politicians with the courage to tread the truthful path. We have to be skillful and wise. That’s why even our views are very much based on incorruptibility.
At the end of the day, winning is not the goal but the process.
It is tough but we need to address those undesirable developments and challenges. Ten years is not too late but it’s up to the people whether they want to take up the responsibility or resign to the fact that nothing can be done.
Which party do you see as your biggest competitor?
I don’t look at parties as competitors. I look at the people’s mindset as the biggest challenge. The challenge is changing people’s mindset. I may sound repetitive but if people become more responsive and concerned for the future, I think the aspirations of His Majesty, of a vibrant democracy and altruistic government, responsible citizen would be achieved and then truly GNH politicians and politics would be redefined. At the end of the day, as a small country we have to remain strong otherwise, we create enemies within us.
What would be the first change you would initiate should your party form the government?
Build trust, I have been saying this all the time. Bureaucracy is the primary government machinery be it for service delivery, policy or governance. That trust has to be built and make the bureaucracy vibrant, responsive, and caring. So the trust deficit between the political leaders and the bureaucracy has to be fixed.
The election laws allow candidates to swap after the primary round. The law review task force recommended removing it. How does your party see this practice?
The law allows it because the underpinning principle is that you are the popular choice of the people of your constituency and so live up to the aspirations of your people of your constituency. You have the duty to fulfill those aspirations.
But morally speaking I don’t know because parties have different set of values that you believe in. I don’t know how people will also swap easily if the values do not match.
As long as I remain in politics, BKP will be my only party and no other party. I am too old to swap parties (laughs).
The country has completed a decade of democratic governance. What has Bhutan lost and gained in this change?
Ughhh… We have lost trust, friends, and families. What have we gained? I don’t know what we gained? Certainly, more conscious about rights. We definitely have become more vocal. All these development activities, for instance like roads and telephone networks after democracy, have hastened, I guess. Again we have to ask at what cost, on the quality and sustainability part.