Bhutan Democracy Dialogue organized the All Party Conference 2017 in the capital yesterday where the representatives from the five registered political parties talked briefly on ways to collaborate for a harmonious and sustainable democracy. The event was attended by members of National Council, Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, Election Commission of Bhutan and Bhutan Network for Empowering Women.
While addressing the gathering, Chairman of Bhutan Democracy Dialogue (BDD), Sonam Jatso said, “Bhutan Democracy Dialogue is made up of all registered political parties and ECB. Its main goal is for the political parties and ECB to work together to strengthen and deepen our democracy. The main objective of this conference is for all political parties to come together to reflect on the state of our democracy and to look at how the political parties, individually and collectively can make contribution to our democracy.”
The session also included panel discussion with senior leaders of political parties to discuss the role of political parties as important institutions of democracy and their constructive roles in promoting harmonious and sustainable practices in the spirit of ‘Bhutanese First’, moderated by Aum Phuntshok from BNEW.
“During elections, competition is inevitable and it’s the only way we can elect a government of the people. But after the elections, we must all come together as one nation and put the interest of our nation first.BDD has the rare opportunity to facilitate the healing process and to bring our people together after the elections. As such BDD can be that transformative ideas we have been seeking to make to our democracy really work for us,” said the Chairman.
He also added that the conference is an opportunity for every participant to reflect, learn and most importantly remind oneself that our nation’s interest must always come first.
The representatives from five political parties spoke briefly on the need to protect and uphold the democracy by bringing in social justice, address socio economic disparity between the region and the people. The representatives spoke on the ways to win, avoiding instilling fear in the minds of the people and indulging in corrupt practices and said that it is important to stick together as a ‘Bhutanese first’ by keeping the political differences aside.
The second panel discussion during the conference was on the how media can make a difference in the 2018 parliamentary elections by raising the bar and setting new standards. The panelist who consisted of editors from the different media house spoke on the how media professionals help in calling out and shutting down irresponsible, unfair, defamatory and negative social media activities.