In a press conference yesterday with local journalists the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT)’s president, Lily Wangchuk and five other designated candidates clarified some of the misconceptions surrounding the party. The members also shared their reflections and experiences in the Primary round of elections.
As pointed out DCT is purported to have performed badly in primary round of elections as people did not have much confidence in its young candidates and there were more female candidates which was also an issue that affected DCT.
The party while grappling with financial resources was also at the same time a new party that had barely 3 weeks to campaign, which was not enough to cover the entire nation and share its vision and objectives for the country. “It was very short time for us to familiarize with their party to the people,” said Lily Wangchhuk.
She said, “Bhutan is too small country to be discriminating people based on religion and ethnic backgrounds and DCT respects all the religion but DCT is not a Christian-backed party.”
There was lot of negative campaigning rumors which greatly affected DCT performance in the election. The party also did not want these ‘misconceptions’ to remain permanently stuck in the minds of peoples as it will affect DCT’s chances in the 2018 elections.
“One rumor that was spreading throughout the country even in the remotest corner was that, the night before the elections, party-runners went from house to house saying DCT is a Christian party and its president, I had turned into a Christian. And that after I turned to Christianity I had recovered from cancer, so if DCT comes into power, it will spread Christianity in the country and also my own faith has been politicized because of politics,” said Lily Wangchhuk.
The party members clarified DCT did not represent any religious groups or any ethnic groups. DCT is meant for every Bhutanese irrespective of whether rich or poor, Buddhist or Hindu. DCT members said they are not a Christian party.
“I come from a highly religious Buddhist family, my mother is an 85 years old nun and she had been a nun for 35 years,” Lily Wangchhuk said
The one other rumor about DCT was about how it bought the Bhutan Kuen-Ngyam Party’s (BKP) Gasa candidate.
The DCT members explained this was also a very big rumor unfortunately election had left the Gasa candidate so heartbroken that he had gone to collect cordyceps,
“So if DCT has lot of resources to pay ‘him’ so much money why would he be collecting cordyceps,” asked DCT members at the press conference.
The DCT president said the party was formed by people from humble backgrounds who don’t have resources to buy any candidates.
“When we are advocating for justice how we can be resorting to corruption this is also a very wrong allegation and really bad rumors that has been spread,” the DCT president said.
She further reiterated that the DCT lost elections because they didn’t have a lot of money at hand.
“We will be having a meeting on 6 June where we will allow those who want to deregister to do so and start anew while those who want to continue with DCT, we will keep them back. For those who need help we will try to see how we can help each other and nobody will be left behind,” announced the DCT president.
The DCT president also explained why she lost form her own constituency during the primary elections. She presented the following reasons:
“DCT being a new party I had totally focused all my efforts on setting a strong foundation for the party over the last 6 months which involved formulation of party plans, policies, manifesto, establishing offices in all 20 Dzongkhags and our presence throughout the country. As a result I had totally neglected my constituency and had not approached a single voter from Thimphu. I also did not have any party workers in my own constituency and few who were with us were paid higher by other parties and recruited as their party workers. I had not at all campaigned in Thimphu while other candidates from other parties the time to campaign for months in Thimphu while I focused more on strengthening the party.”
Lily Wangchhuk said “I will be holding DCT and I will be supporting Bhutan cancer society.”
DCT candidate of Lhamoizingkha constituency under Dagana, Sarswati Chhetri said, “I am happy that I am with DCT and I will work with DCT and Take part actively in 2018 elections.”
DCT’s Trongsa candidate from Drakteng-Langthel constituency said, “I had worked as a freelance guide, for me it is not going to make much difference because I can go with my job and I had a great experience by joining DCT.