With all its 47 candidates set to compete for the 2018 Election, the Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) held its first party convention on 21st July at the Royal Institute of Management (RIM), Simtokha. More than 6,500 people were present at the convention according to the party’s estimate.
Overwhelmed by the massive turnout, BKP President Dasho Neten Zangmo said, “I am truly happy and your presence here today shows that you are concerned. We are concerned about our future and children’s future, we are concerned about youth and unemployment issues, and we are concerned about how politic is conducted.”
The Vice President of BKP, Sonam Tobgay, said, “It is not us against them, it is not our party versus their party, whether we are Sharshop, Lhotsham, or Ngalop, we are all Bhutanese first.”
He added that if democracy is about winning election, BKP can win the election easily, but BKP will never resort to immoral acts in winning the election. He said, “Any political party who wins the election by resorting to immoral acts can never serve its people and the government.”
According to BKP, the party is formed on three important themes. “First, BKP shall not just serve for 5 years but it shall serve its people and the government for all times to come. BKP shall never resort to corruption and corrupt practices, and especially with Dasho Neten Zangmo as our party president who has served as the chairperson of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). BKP shall serve independently.”
According to BKP, the party receives offerings of donation in million but the party has refused to accept such amounts as the party does not want to risk being misused in the future if it forms the government. The party accepted only the amounts allowed by the law like, Nu 30,000 to Nu 100,000.
Important issues like, woman empowerment and leadership, youth and issues relating to the youth were also highlighted during the party convention. Kesang Choden, a woman candidate, said, “In Bhutan, women participation in leadership in very less. We have only one minister and two Gups and we should encourage woman to participate in decision making and leadership.”
BKP President said, “During my recent tour to remote villages, I came across people who are still struggling for basic facilities and services like, poor toilet services, poor quality of seeds and long and difficult bureaucratic procedures.”
“We are visiting different places and we are making sure that no one is left behind, and that’s the meaning of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party,” Dasho Neten Zangmo said, adding, “More importantly we have the conviction that change will come, politics will be redefined, our democracy will be strengthened and the government will be one for everyone.”
She said within just one year of experience in politics, she has come to find that there are many things that need to be rectified or improved, and politic is not as easy as it seems. “The political parties can do a lot of things, both good and bad, if the people are concerned about the nation, then the political parties cannot do anything against the interest of the nation,” she said.
She said the people need to be grateful to the deities, beloved Monarchs, and parents for the peace and harmony in our lives.
“We are a small country, and we have a great opportunity to either ruin ourselves or rise to become a great nation,” the BKP President said, adding, “We also need to prioritize the private sector and its growth as the engine of the economy.”
The party convention also endorsed the Party’s President Dasho Neten Zangmo, Vice President Sonam Tobgay, General Secretary Dawa Rinchen, Treasurer Karma Jimba, Internal Auditor Sabitman Rai, and the 15 members of the executive committee.
The party introduced its 47 candidates at the convention. The party has seven women candidates. BKP also launched the rules for its candidates. The convention was also endorsed by its dzongkhag and gewog coordinators.