DNT’s acting President Dr Tandin likely to step down for Dr Lotay in party convention

DNT’s candidates to also be unveiled during the convention to be held around end of April or early May 2018

After a long hunt for a Party President, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) seems to have finally settled down to one in the form of Dr Lotay Tshering, a popular and practicing doctor and surgeon.

The DNT General Secretary Tenzin Lekphell said that in the upcoming party convention around end of April or early May one issue would be about electing the party President.

He said that as of now and as per his knowledge the only candidate standing for that post is Dr Lotay Tshering. He said it is likely that Dr Tandin the current serving President would step down to make way for Dr Lotay.

Tenzin said that the DNT party was essentially formed by Dr Tandin and him, and hence they two were more focused on building the party as an institution and also getting a strong party President. He said they did not aspire to be party president and in fact an acting president was only in place to follow the political party registration rules.

The General Secretary said that if the convention members vote for Dr Lotay then he would formally become the new President of DNT.

In response to a question Tenzin also listed several reasons for wanting Dr Lotay as the President.

He said, “DNT talks about narrowing the gap in society between rich and poor and so we need a leader who believes in this and who has the record of helping the poor. This is our main criteria and this is where Dr Lotay’s past record matches this DNT vision.”

He said when based in Mongar Dr Lotay let people stay in his house and in Thimphu he did not take Saturdays and Sundays off to serve people. He said that even after the 2013 disappointment Dr Lotay still continued to serve and work for the people.

Tenzin said another factor was Dr Lotay’s age of 48 which is not too young or too old and at the right level of maturity and energy to be a leader.

Dr Lotay’s communication skills was also highlighted, including his charisma. “People like him,” said Tenzin Lekphell.

Dr Lotay has been a regular face on BBS over the years through a medical program where he advised the people to take better care of their health, took on air calls and gave advice in addition to a very busy medical schedule.

The General Secretary said that DNT has already secured most of its candidates and the only reason for not revealing them now was to do it properly in the party convention. He said that unlike some other parties DNT wanted to finalize the candidates through consultation as there were even two to three options in the same constituency. Tenzin said that an early announcement could seal all options as people may want to change later.

One prominent and potential candidate was the former health secretary Dorji Wangchuk who passed away in a road accident. Tenzin said that given the passion and interest shown by the former health secretary, the party, in keeping with Tha Damtshi will talk to the family on what to do for the former secretary’s constituency.

Tenzin said that the party is in a much better shape than in 2013 as DNT has had five years to work all over the country and provide a strong alternative to the people.

He said that during the party’s familiarization visits there was better recognition of the party by people.

DNT is also expected to come out with its manifesto after the government dissolves on 2nd August.

The Secretary General said that the party has started working on the manifesto which would offer some important, interesting and unique things.

DNT currently has three party offices in Thimphu for the western and central region, in Phuentsholing for the southern region and Chukha and one in Trashigang for the eastern region.

“We don’t want to just open party offices for the sake of doing so but want functioning offices,” said Tenzin.

DNT as of now has around 6,000 members already registered and growing.

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