Saturday, November 1st, 2014 - 5:00 PM
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Post-election angst

When word was out that the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), which is now the opposition party, would be holding a post election convention in the capital, it was assumed that not many would show up; after all, the elections were over. But yesterday, they showed up in numbers, like it was a pre-election meeting, and filled to the brim the spacious hall at the Nazhoen Pelri complex. At the meeting, supporters openly voiced their grievances and resentment at the electoral process, making it a point [... Read More]

The Gyalpoizhing fall guys

The controversial Gyalpoizhing land allotment case has come to its logical end after months in the appeal courts. What finally emerges now is that the biggest losers are the civil servants, who served as members of the committee empowered to allot land in Gyalpoizhing, more than a decade ago. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal made against the high court verdict by the committee members, who include the former National Assembly speaker and home minister and 11 other civil servants. The high court [... Read More]

Time to ‘walk the talk’

While low-key celebrations continue across the country with PDP elected members and their supporters, the electorate is getting eager by the day to see some of the pledges fulfilled. The responsibility of turning into reality what has been said is perhaps already weighing on members of the party who are likely to be given key portfolios in the new government that has not yet formally announced its cabinet. Going by what voters had to say, the PDP pledges did strike a chord with various sections [... Read More]

The cabinet choice

While debate and discussion continue on the election results and the manner in which it was achieved, jostling for space and equal attention is the speculation on who will be the ministers and therefore cabinet members of the new government. The discussion is probably the most heated in the government ministries, which have to brace themselves for an entirely new face to provide the political and decision making leadership. While the elected party leadership is probably already having informal discussions on how to go about [... Read More]

Next, the transition

The dust has not yet settled on the outcome of the second parliamentary elections that elected the People’s Democratic party (PDP) last Saturday to form the new government. The electorate is still making an assessment, discussing and debating about the circumstances and factors that led to the outcome. There are plenty of rumours and allegations about the elections.  Yet allegations after an election are only to be expected. Electoral laws allow a 10-day petition period after poll day for candidates, supporters or even the voters [... Read More]

Turning over a new leaf

Even as the results of the second parliamentary elections begin to sink in with the parties and supporters, the basic message coming through is that people voted for change. From winning 12 constituencies in the primaries six weeks ago, PDP literally broke through the DPT strongholds in the east, and swept through the south to notch up a decisive 32 out of 47 seats in the National Assembly. This obviously came as a bit of shock for DPT supporters, more than the party itself.  In [... Read More]

Let the people speak

Election day is upon us and the question on everyone’s mind for so many weeks should be answered by evening. Who will it be this time round?  Who will the people of Bhutan give the mandate to govern for the next five years in the country’s second parliamentary elections? Given all that has transpired in recent weeks, and which continued until late last evening in some constituencies, despite the so-called blackout period, all that can be said at this stage is the contest could be [... Read More]

Election in motion

There are good indications the voter turnout could be much higher for the general election poll day on July 13, when Bhutan will elect a new government for the second time after transiting to a democracy. Reports from different parts of the country, including the capital, indicate hundreds of voters travelling in groups in hired buses, taxis and private cars for their respective polling stations. Initially, it appeared that fatigue was getting to the electorate, who would have to cast their ballot for the third [... Read More]

Time out

For the 94 candidates of the two political parties contesting the country’s second general election, the time has come to take a break before they hear the verdict of the people on the evening of July 13. The 48-hour blackout period officially begins from 9am today, which means the political campaign, which has been going on for the past four weeks, must stop. As is characteristic of the Bhutanese, the last minute campaign is still likely to continue in the morning before the clock strikes [... Read More]

Post campaign, pre poll

The exodus has begun.  For the past few days, the electorate has been leaving in droves from the main urban centres for their hometowns and villages all across the country to cast their vote in the country’s second general election. In another three days, Bhutan will have chosen one of the political parties to form the country’s second elected government, five years after it transited to a parliamentary system of governance. It is definitely not the best time to be on the road, with the [... Read More]