We are prepared. After I took over as the party president, I toured all 205 gewogs and we gathered feedback and finalised the manifesto. This is why we could submit our Letter of Intent on the first day after the ECB issued the notification.
We are fortunate that we did not have problems in getting good candidates.
What is the biggest challenge for your party this election?
Fund was the biggest challenge for the party. The biggest challenge that we foresee is people using money to buy votes. If money factor is out of the equation this election, DNT can win comfortably.
How will your party ensure that the upcoming elections are clean?
If people play as per the rule of the game, it has to be clean. After I took over as the party president, I made it clear to all my candidates that they cannot do anything that is illegal. I told my friends they must not have “must win’ attitude. This is where we can go wrong.
Which party do you see as your biggest competitor?
It depends on how you look at it. If the election is fought clean, we stand out clear. I am not worried about other parties.
What would be the first change you would initiate should your party form the government?
We would like to get every Bhutanese on board to march forward and work for the country’s future.
The next thing DNT would like to undertake is to have a common vision for this country, not just a five-year vision. DNT will work on Vision 2045 document.
The election laws allow candidates to swap parties after the primary round. The law review task force does not recommend it. How does your party see this practice?
It is not about how I see it but what we follow and what we should be doing because on the eve of the elections, I don’t think I can say anything to change the laws. The existing law says that candidates from losing parties in primary round are allowed to join the winning party. As a party president, I do not have the right over my candidates not to allow them to go.
If we do not make it through the primary round, the decision depends on the candidates.
The country has completed a decade of democratic governance. What has Bhutan lost and gained in this change?
Under the dynamic and visionary leadership of His Majesty, Bhutan cannot lose at any point in time, we can only gain and march forward. Having said that, in the past 10 years, the politically elected governments could have gained the nation and its people a democratic process as envisioned by our wise monarchs.
Since the country’s democratic transition, we can measure the achievements of the two ruling parties on the material front. But this is something to be concerned about since it is contrary to our GNH values, our tradition and the emphasis on sustainable development. In the haste of achieving economic development, we are losing these values, and GDP is not what our country measures.
I have observed a big clash between five yearly visions of political parties with long-term visions. In the process of democratisation, we are missing out on the real element of our Constitution, which states that our form of government is Democratic Constitutional Monarchy.