With its prime objective of participating in the democratic process to give more choice to the people, Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) will continue to exist as a registered political party in the aftermath of its loss during the primary round.
DCT’s president Lily Wangchhuk said, “We are currently working on clearing our liabilities and resolving varied issues. Once these issues are all settled for good, we intend to meet regularly to plan our way forward and develop our stand and common position on many issues of national concern. We intend to remain politically and socially active, and maintain close contact with the people.”
She said winning the elections at all costs was never the objective of DCT. “Since the establishment of Druk Chirwang Tshogpa, party workers, candidates and supporters have immensely contributed to the growth and development of DCT as a political institution.”
Soon after the elections DCT candidates and key members gathered in Thimphu to reflect on the party’s experiences and valuable lessons drawn. There was unanimous agreement at the meeting that DCT should continue and work towards emerging as stronger, more competent, and resilient in the next elections.
Reiterating on her earlier statements, the president said, “It was a great privilege and honour for DCT to participate in the 2013 election and contribute to the democratic process that was gifted by our beloved Fourth Druk Gyalpo. We are not deterred by the election results as we were seriously challenged with limited time at hand and insufficient financial resources, besides we are here for the long haul.”
“The journey for us has only begun and we will work even harder to gain the trust and confidence of the people of Bhutan. We will strive even more to build a stronger DCT, and actively engage in the democratic process. We will continue to be the voice of the people and we will always stand for what it believes in furthering the cause of the people of our country.” She added.
She said during the initial phase of building the party and the election process, inspirations were drawn from their collective motivation to serve the people and bring about positive change in the country. “We will continue to work with the same spirit, more now than ever. The journey has just begun,” She said.
She said the candidates will continue to meet regularly for number of social and economic activities and will engage in a number of charitable works to help the underprivileged.
DCT will also remain politically active and intends to keep the nation updated on its activities through DCT’s bimonthly newsletter.
A few of the candidates have deregistered from the party, but most are still playing an active role within the party. While most candidates have gone back to their earlier professions or business, they are still rendering services for the party as and when required. DCT also maintain close contact through regular meetings and activities.
Furthermore, DCT has been formed with the best intention of bringing about positive change in the country and with the hope of providing a different perspective and approach to operationalization of GNH. “Thus, the election result will not deter us. DCT is here for the long haul. We will definitely work on our weaknesses and continue to build on our strengths,” the president stated.
She also stressed that the biggest drawback was the time factor. “As a new political party, there was general lack of awareness about our party, particularly in the rural areas. Those who had heard about our party through the media were probably the civil servants and urban population, but they had little or no knowledge about our ideology, objectives and long and short plans targeted at bringing positive change in our manifesto.” She said the campaign period of less than three weeks was also too short to cover the entire nation. “I probably met a few thousand people in 17 Dzongkhags and it appears only those people whom we have met, understood us better and voted for us,” she explained.
She also said people did not have enough confidence in our young candidates owing to social, cultural reasons. She said, “The society remains prejudiced against the youth and doubts their capability as leaders.”
“As a party with people from humble background, we did not have huge resources at our disposal. Thus, we couldn’t afford to recruit a large network of party workers across the country that play a crucial role in garnering votes and support from the grassroots. These were probably the only people who were very active during the blackout period campaigning and influencing people till the last minute” the president concluded.
DCT has already initiated discussions with potential senior experienced candidates for 2018 elections. Those candidates who are keen in contesting for 2018 elections from DCT will be encouraged to remain active socially and politically besides staying abreast of developments in the country.