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Looking forward to change

It is exactly a week since the general elections on October 18. There are no changes in the results or issues related to the elections, although the petition period will only end on November 6.

The transition to a new government was a lot smoother in the third parliamentary elections this year. There are no candidates threatening to withdraw or people appealing to higher authorities like in the past. Perhaps, this was because we have already experienced a decade of democracy.

The election is now behind us. The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa is busy with the groundwork to take the reins of the government and finalise a team of cabinet ministers.  When the suspense is over, we will be back to business.

Thankfully, the blame game, the accusations and the vilifying on social media is getting over, as the elections results sink in and people move on to do more important things. We hope that there will be more reasoned discussions and discourse to help the new government make logical decisions. The speculation now is what the new government will do for us.

Having covered the length and breadth of the country, seeking people’s support and making a lot of pledges, the new government will have to transform these energies into responsibility. They will have to be committed to live up to the expectations. We assume, from the silence, that they are already working on it.

Although the details of the 12th Plan is not yet made public, political parties had access to it much before the elections. This is good because the tenure of the new government coincides with the 12th Plan. They would have studied the Plan and prepared accordingly. Perhaps they are doing some adjustments to accommodate the long list of pledges.

Having participated in the 2013 elections, DNT has the political experience, but not of governance. As a new political party, we will see new faces in the cabinet. However, this is an advantage for the new government as they could benefit from the fresh perspectives and a newer approach to governance. Change is what they called for and change is what is being expected. In that light, we welcome a new government with new ideas and views.

Since we transited to democratic constitutional democracy, two elected governments have come and gone. What remained are the issues and the challenges. We are still dealing with unemployment, youth unemployment especially, rural to urban migration, food insufficiency, increasing debt. The list is long.

We have experienced that our legislations need to be updated to keep up with change. We know there are problems with ministries, departments and other organisations. We are seeing new challenges. Climate change is affecting us, regional politics will have a bearing on Bhutan and there are numerous new home bred problems – say traffic problems.

For change, bold decisions will have to be made – decisions that will make the new government and the system credible. Most of all, decisions for the benefit of people.

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