Coming Soon: Unfulfilled promises of DPT highlighted in upcoming book on 2013 Elections

The incumbent DPT government has, so far claimed, in various forums that out of its broad 153 pledges it has fully or partially fulfilled 150, and only three remain unfulfilled.

However, after the primary round of elections, the DPT lost 12 seats to PDP, two seats to DNT, and also had tightly contested races in 13 more constituencies mainly on the grounds that voters felt that the incumbent MPs and the government had not fulfilled promises made in 2008.

In what is an apparent contradiction of DPT claims of fulfilled promises, the post results analysis in constituencies where DPT lost, has voters saying that they did not vote for DPT due to unfulfilled promises.

According to voters, the DPT MP’s themselves had made very specific constituency level promises in their individual manifestos distributed in 2008, in addition to on the spot verbal promises that voters have clearly not forgotten.

For example, in Wangdue Phodrang, one of the main reasons voters from Nyisho-Sephu constituency voted out the incumbent DPT MP Gyem Dorji was because he failed to deliver on irrigation and drinking water promises. Similarly, the voters in Athang-Thedtso constituency voted out DPT’s incumbent MP Passang Thrinlee as he had failed to provide a promised farm road among other reasons.

Voters in Samtse’s two constituencies who voted out two incumbent MP’s also said that they were ignored by their MPs.

An upcoming book on the 2013 Elections titled ‘Bhutan’s First Five Years of Democracy’ by the Center of Research Initiatives in Thimphu delves a whole chapter into this issue called, ‘The Promises of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’.

A key person behind this book is Druk Nyamprup Tshogpa candidate Gyambo Sithey who was also behind the acclaimed ‘Drukyul Decides’ book that gave a comprehensive account of the 2008 elections.

According to the book the 45 winning candidates of DPT had complied constituency specific promises coming to more than 185 pages with each candidate having a four page manifesto detailing their promises to the constituency.

The book interesting says that the salient feature of most of these promises was that they were all part of the 10th  Five-Year Plan (FYP 2008-2013), which was already drafted before the electoral process began. “All that the candidates had to do was present it to people like a new initiative brought for them,” states the book “Bhutan’s First Five Years of Democracy.”

The book also mentions the 10 broad promises made outside the 10th FYP document by DPT candidates which remains unfulfilled.

These unfulfilled promises are transport subsidies for transport of CGI sheets by 15 MPs, a medical college in Thimphu, a bridge over the Mao Khola River in Sarpang, youth recreational centres with theater, library and IT facilities were promised in Mongar, Khuru, Bumthang, Sarpang and Tshokhorling.

An unfulfilled promise was construction of Gups’ residence and guest house in every gewog constituencies of Khar, Mongar, Drujeygang Tzesa, Gelephu, Thrimshing Kangpara, Khamdang Kanglung Uzorong, and Drakteng Langthel.

Other unfulfilled promises where  the financial incentives to switch from Maruti vans to other Taxi models promised by Ganzur-minjay, Limu Toewang, Kabji Talo, and Phuntsholing, Menchha hybrid bull for each family in highland communities of Merak and Sakteng gewogs, financial services and oil distribution centers in Dagapela and Lhamoizingkha and teachers college & tourism school in Bongman of Radhi Sakteng constituency.

According to the book, detail analysis of the constituency specific promises indicates that 14 new farm roads of the 68 promised were still not delivered and of the proposed 53 schools to be upgraded only 21 were upgraded, and of the proposed 13 new schools only 3 were constructed.

The book says that DPT MPs had claimed that these promises were not made randomly, but were based on identification of “popular needs” which the people had expressed during ‘familiarization tours’ of the two political parties which they undertook before the actual campaign.

Talking about the party manifesto of DPT the book says that DPT has come up with 62 broad pledges based on the four pillars of GNH.

However, when the Prime Minister presented the State of the Nation report on March 4, 2013, there were 153 pledges (RGOB 2013) of which 135 (88%) have been fully fulfilled and 15 (10%) partially, and only 3 (2%) were not fulfilled.

“It is not clear how these 153 pledges were arrived at,” says the book.

The chapter then lists out DPT’s various achievements of DPT from 2008-2013 as reported by the Prime Minister in the State of the Nation Report.

The book, however, says that the commendable progress came with a huge cost for a small nation. It says, “At the end of the five years we have Nu. 78 billion debt (ODF), double digit inflation (13.9%), INR shortage that has lead to liquidity crunch and there is an indefinite ban on loans, import of vehicles, etc.”

The book also says that at the end of five years of GNH infused developmental activities and aggressive marketing of the philosophy to the west, the triumph card of the elected government has been on the 8.8% GDP growth rate in contrast to the slogan “GNH is more important than GDP”.

It says that while an average GDP growth rate of 8.8% has been achieved, much of it is due to investment in huge hydro power projects.

The book points out that growth rate in agriculture sector  which employs 60% of the Bhutanese (MoLHR 2012) is 1% per annum compared to the targeted growth rate of 4% and this is where the book says the government has failed.

It says that annually Bhutan still imports an estimate of 48% of the total rice requirement and in 2011 Nu. 851,923,635 worth of rice has been imported putting rice in top ten imports and vegetable worth Nu.1,840,267,940 has been imported at the back drop of 69% being engaged in agriculture activity.

It says in health, despite 94% access to safe drinking water the water borne diseases like diarrheal diseases and skin infection are still the top ten causes of morbidity and continues to burden 10% of the total population and 30% of the children under five years of age.

In education, the book says that numerical targets were achieved but nothing much could be said of the quality of education and a large section of planers were of the opinion that 10FYP should have seen consolidation than expansion. It says the youth (15-25) unemployment rate is 7.3% and the urban unemployment is as high as 13.5%.

The book says that Bhutanese leaders under the guidance of the Monarchs have always opted for cautious economic development till the 9th FYP.  It says that with democracy and pledges, the DPT government did everything possible under its McKinsey-aided “Accelerating Bhutan’s Socio-Economic Development” program to boost growth.

The books asks if these five years of unprecedented endeavor to fulfill the pledges evokes whether the elected government should have considered the promises before pursuing it from sustainability, resources availability, and the overall spillover effect.

“Some are of the opinion that, while pledges are necessary to be fulfilled, it would have been sensible if there was brainstorming and rationalizing of the pledges. The last five years have proved to be too costly, and the recovery will have to wait till the hydropower projects start earning returns,” concludes the book.


 Tenzing Lamsang 












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  1. Since it is written by rival political party members, the hairpulling and leg pulling is expected. I have second though over naming Drukyul decides as aclaimed books. It has nothing new there other bunch of stats

  2. i think we shouldn’t base the success of the party on the numbers of pledges they make. i believe no one actually considers it seriously, the manifestos and pledges. In a period of 5yrs, to fulfill all the pledges, i think no party could achieve this in the entire world, ofcourse they might work towards this. the most important thing is to achieve the plans laid in the 5yr plan coming from village to gewog to dzonkhags. this itself is a great challenge with the mobilizations of fund and human resources and everything. Besides it is important to prioritize the pledges and perform. Hence i as a person staying in dzonkhag have seen many necessary pledges have been achieved by the govt. And we should also think that to kick start the first democratic government and to fulfill the numerous pledges are really difficult but the past govt did quite well.

    • So Mr. Apache what do you suggest Bhutanese people to judge the performance of government. Are you suggesting people to believe in their word of mouth, personality, wealth/power. The Pledge they promise to people will justify their capability, willingness and commitment to Tsa-wa-sum, if they have failed over 30%(as what this books reveals) If they have not fulfilled the pledge and manifesto they have written by themselves and taking up unnecessary initiatives for their own interest and benefits, then i am very sorry they are not only incapable they are also lairs. Now how do you support DPT for what they have not done? You can be honest anonymously……

  3. inequality and injustice

    Instead of “Unfulfilled Promises….of DPT, perhaps your topic could read “One More Ride on the Gravy Train by the DPT” and this might be more suitable and true.

  4. If DPT has not fulfilled many of its pledges, we must vote for the party again so that they fulfill those leftover pledges. If we vote for PDP, these leftover pledges won’t be fulfilled because that party will have different pledges. So, thanks to this paper and the book author for informing us about these unfulfilled pledges. I will vote for DPT till they completely fulfill the pledges.

    • In that case you will have to live long and have good deal of patience to wait until a party’s pledges are fully fulfilled. You can even be a politician as you have the patience and incapacity to underperform and continue your rule for indefinite terms. 

    • ok, five more year for the fulfillment of the pledges, another complimentary five years, another five years and so on. 

      • No lies No sin

        You are too traditionalist where say ‘chang nay Chang gi sang’ this sayings does not hold any water la. It is a time were we are slaves of time and everything is determined by time. If stds submit their home late, they are punished by deducting marks…
        So DPT deserv no vote… Change is inevitable…

  5. Book comprises of the “transparent” due pledges left by DPT after completion of their term with “Equity and Justices”. This book must be read and reached to every Bhutanese citizen before the general election and in particular eastern Bhutan where people are still blind folded with notion of every development is sought/bought by the former government (44.5 MPs=4 decision makers at NA) and without their presence as MPs everything will get freeze. Well this is the time where a learned Bhutanese people can take an active role in disseminating such information to the rural people in east where they are still in confusion state.

    • No government in the world can fulfill all the pledges they make and that too for a myriad of reasons. Please don’t worry about the eastern Bhutanese, in-spite of the promises made by the PDP, they chose DPT overwhelmingly, simply because they find the promises made by the OL outrageous, I am sure you as an educated person would agree with me that it is just not possible.

  6. Peoples who blames the previous government will surely blame the next government even if PDP is elected. Unique value of our society to respect is vanishing due to the raw information that are been displayed by media.

    Every things are compared at personal level. No government would serve your personal greed. growup and wakeup… Now god is only the saver of our beautiful national… people cannot decide obviously literates ones cannot..

  7. Since the author has a vested interest as a member of a rival party, you cannot really expect the book not to be biased. It seems that even the release has been carefully planned. Obviously, it will point out all the shortcomings while underplaying accomplishments. Also it’s easier to do that because the opposing parties had no promises to fulfill. But one might also want to really consider, if the promises would have been fulfilled if any other party had been ruling the past five years; or for that matter will they deliver everything they promise? Some of them seem unrealistically appealing. So I guess the important lesson is some paid the price for promises not delivered; but an even more important lesson is to really understand if the promises are realistic and vote accordingly, not because it is appealing.

  8. It is understandable that 100% is not achievable but at the same time why to make pledges which is/were not manageable? 

    And I didn’t understand why there are differences in figure between state of nation report and the coming book?

    It is obvious and any ruling government will put forward best part at front in the state of nation report, so there should be another report to highlight other side and prevent unhealthy democracy in future. It will alert that lies should not be reflected in official document to harness future votes.

    I welcome forth coming book so that there is complete picture of nation. Congratulation to publisher for research and writing book. It will be reference to politicians and policy makers.

    Tashi Delek.


    • Like the PDPs pledges, you think they will fulfill their promises.

      • DPT or PDP’s pledges, it should be reasonable, manageable, realistic and more…  I think you should start writing book to counterbalance upcoming book.

  9. When the book is written by a person strongly obsessed by politics, it is absolutely certain that it will target another political party. Surely, your enemy will not write truth about you. How can we believe in that book? I believe in what I see in reality. What I see is a rapid process of development in our country. New roads, full electrification, full cellular network coverage, economic self reliance, etc. More than everything, our country is having peace, democracy is stable and Bhutan is gaining its prestige and position in the global community. What more do we want then?

    • By the way, who is this joker who wrote the book/report.

    • True. What I believe in is what I see before me. I see before me economic development that I had never dreamed of in addition to what our visionary monarchs have achieved. for the past 5 yrs, we have been being guided by well thought out plans and managed by equally realistic, seasoned and dynamic government which made me feel comfortable just as I felt before democracy. For me and my family and relatives of 60 plus from eastern Bhutan, there is no room for hypocrites and arrogant wannabe dream fulfillers. We are going to vote again for the tried and tested DPT. There is no need for any self proclaimed political analyst experts to show us data and there is no need for media such as this paper to go on a last minute tryst to catch hold of the straws to attempt to change our minds. Nothing can change our mind and nothing ever will. I laugh at those people who calls us eastern Bhutanese as being blind. But when some of us even shed tears of respect for HE JYT at the mere sight of him (remember one pic in a post in FB?), how does ANYONE think they can put reasons and logic to make us change our minds? You don’t need reasons and logic to love your god. At least for me and my family and relatives, this paper’s blatant attempts are all futile. At the end of the day, DPT will rule again!

    • I think he should learn mindfulness from you and he will not be obsessed by politics any more.

      Yes economic self reliance for now at cost of huge debt. will our future generation will have same economic self reliance? How are we sure of future that any government will be able to continue paying debt? Will same ministers remain in future and for how long? These are some of my thought. Please don’t get hurt. I would be glad to know if I am wrong.

  10. In contrast to PemaD, we lost all our respects to JYT because he could become that stupid to bend and twist the system in getting the Prados for himself and his cronies. About 250 of my relatives will think twice before we vote for either of the parties because it is proven that JYT gives very sweet words and his greatest weakness is he fails to proactive what he preaches. He has taken the Prados for himself instead of putting the larger interest of the communities and people at first, he is smart in meeting his own greed. Does he put his personal interest and greed above the overall interest of the communities? Will he, we strongly have big doubts.

    • You have so much swaying power, you should have Led DNT instead of Aum Dorji!

      • Let-Live-In-Harmony

        You should replace immediately Mr. tshering Tobgay so that PDP can form the gov. who is desperate for cause you seem to be having lot of followers which is just a pinch.

    • 250 distant relatives ya? If I go by that theory… Haha, half of our country’s population is somehow or the other related to me and maybe, the other half is related to u. So we tie.. Huh? Man, I’m talking of  60 heads under one census under one roof, although they are scattered in reality.

  11. Okay ok, for the sake of cooling down people like good, mindfulness and pemaD, let’s vote for Druk Prado Tsogpa. Otherwise they might suicide in the name of JYT, their god.

  12. Nidu, Not me, but your PDP leader is taking the party on a suicide mission by making all these irelavant and unachieveable promises. Now, he wants the help of DNT candidates. Very desperate for power, isn’t it? These PDP and some DNT candidates are not here to serve the people, but serve for themselves. DNT supporters in the villages have lost faith in the party because of its lack of integrity.

    • DPT is getting very dirty except that their ideology is dranam and drandhen and harmony! very sad, practically they are creating lots of problem in the villages especially with the uneducated lot…tht is their strength and nothing else!

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