Bartsham-Shongphu debate hype among viewers

Bartsham-Shongphu constituency, Trashigang’s public debate among the five political parties, held on 11 November, is considered as one of the most watched debates so far.

A viewer commented that this should be the standard of all public debate, whereas another commented that all the five candidates from Bartsham-Shongphu are very strong and capable.

The five candidates were Rinchen Wangdi from Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), Sonam Kinga from Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Passang Dorji from Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), Sonam Phuntsho from Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) and Kuenzang Wangdi from People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In response to a PDP question on the BTP candidates lacking experience, BTP’s Rinchen Wangdi answered that BTP consists of former civil servants, law officials and private workers who have held higher positions through three tenures of the governments.

“The party is new, however, the candidates aren’t. The candidates will rule not as the party but as the representative of the people,” Rinchen Wangdi added.

Sonam Kinga from DNT was questioned by DPT on their motto of narrowing the gap between rich and poor, and if DNT could share how they have benefited the poor section of people with proper accounting, to which Sonam Kinga answered that it would be best if he could go through the Royal Audit Authority for that data. He added that the best answer to that could be the pay hike the previous government did to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

All the candidates attacked and counter attacked each other professionally, and each question were well answered well.

Talking with BTP’s candidate, he said that he is satisfied with how the debate went.

Rinchen Wangdi said, “It went very professional, without any personal attacks, and the debate focused more on national issues. Now time has changed, this is the time, when we really need to look at the future of our country, forget personal attacks and work together for the national interest. I am happy that we are setting good standard in our political landscape.”

DTT’s official said that their candidate was pitched against really seasoned politicians, to which he really represented the party well.

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