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Thoughts after the elections

The 2018 elections are now behind us. We have elected a new government. We look forward with excitement what the new government will bring. We should move on.

In the aftermath of the general elections, some of us are still stuck and can’t get over the fervour of the elections. The reality is that the people have decided on a new government. The results are not ideal for some. But in an election, there is no such thing as ideal results. There will be happy and unhappy people. We cannot make everybody happy. That would have been only possible if we are not a democracy.

Democracy is not going to be easy, as we have seen. The election, like the previous two, will be talked about for a long time. We are fortunate that our elections are conducted and participated without any major problems. There will be people who disagree with the elected government, their vision or pledges, and the election process. That is what we need. We need discourse and disagreement. It is the beauty of democracy.

As we prepare to face the reality of the third democratically elected government, our biggest contribution as individuals, groups, or communities is to move on and encourage others to do so.

Going by what is happening on social media in the aftermath of the elections, we are heading towards the wrong path. The issues that our visionary leaders handled sensitively to create a harmonious Bhutan are being undone there. People are having a war of words along regionalism, caste, party lines, everything we can name. These are desperate measures to hurt each other, malign institutions, and to create disharmony. This is not good for democracy.

Credit to the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa and its president. The party prioritised “bringing people together” in the first press conference after the elections. It is appealing people to discontinue engaging in divisive practices and creating tension among people along political lines. We have learnt lessons that engaging in hate message and mudslinging using platforms like social media is just a waste of energy. It is not doing good to anyone.

What we can do now is divert that energy to productive things. We have better things to look forward to. Everybody is eager to hear the names of cabinet ministers. People are already speculating who will be who in the cabinet. We could also work on the lessons we learnt from the experiences and build on it to get be better.

Winning is not the goal for the political parties. The goal, like the prime minister-elect said in his campaign message, is getting an opportunity to serve the people. It is only appropriate to move on and let the government get down to work.

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