The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) issued a news release where it defined its status as a political party prepped-up for the next elections. And regardless of not being through to the general round of the National Assembly (NA) elections, it portrays itself as a party that heeded the bigger calling, that of serving as a choice for the people where victory is only secondary.
The party also underlines in its release its future plans to come back stronger.
Party president Lily Wangchhuk said despite numerous challenges faced as a new political party, DCT has provided more choice to the people in 2013 elections, extensively interacted with people across the nation to enable a better understanding of the issues, and challenges which has been documented in the party manifesto, brought issues related to underprivileged, women and youth into the forefront, which was also picked up later by all political parties. The party says it inspired thousands of women and youth across the country with having the first female president of a political party, and noted that Bhutan received global attention with the recognition of its president as top 15 global women for breaking the political barrier.
Will DCT remain a party?
DCT plans to continue to exist as a registered political party. Drawing on lessons learned from the recent elections, the party plans to work even harder to gain the trust and confidence of the people of Bhutan.
“We will strive even more to build a stronger Druk Chirwang Tshogpa and actively engage in the democratic process. We will continue to be the voice of the section of Bhutanese population who support us. More than that, our party will always stand for what it believes in – furthering the cause of the people of the country,” stated the news release.
At the general meeting held on June 6, 2013 most senior candidates expressed their interest in being associated with the party, and in contributing as active members with the party’s preparation for 2018 elections.
Main drawback of DCT as a party
The biggest drawback was identified as the time factor. As a new political party, there was general lack of awareness about the Party particularly in the rural areas. Those who had heard about it through media were probably the civil servants and urban population but they had little or no knowledge about its ideology, objectives and long and short plans targeted at bringing positive change in our manifesto.
“Therefore people probably voted for familiar faces and older parties with whose objectives they were very familiar with,” stated the news release.
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. Considering that we are very satisfied with the percentage of vote since we seem to have obtained 100 per cent from people we met, which is very encouraging,” said Lily Wangchhuk.
Other areas identified were people who did not have enough confidence in DCT’s young candidates owing to social, cultural reasons.
“The society remains prejudiced against the youth and doubts their capability as leaders,” stated the release.
Further the release says that as a party with people from humble background, DCT did not have huge resources at its disposal and thus couldn’t afford to recruit a large network of party workers across the country who played 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,” stated the DCT release.
Most DCT supporters were youth who were unable to vote for the Party being financially challenged in travelling back to their respective Constituencies or were not eligible for postal ballots having missed the registration which closed earlier this year.
Measures DCT plans to undertake to groom the party and candidates
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.
DCT is all about bringing in changes
“While there have been requests from both the winning parties, it is entirely up to our candidates and party supporters to exercise their own choice. As a political institution, DCT will not take sides with either winning party,” said Lily Wangchhuk.
The DCT congratulated the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) for conducting the election in a free and fair manner, DPT and PDP for having made it through to the general round of the National Assembly elections.
The Chirwang party also acknowledged Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) with its deepest appreciation for their efforts.
“Druk Chirwang Tshogpa will continue with its passion to serve the nation with devotion and determination to bring positive change in our country. We believe our journey has just begun,” said DCT president Lily Wangchhuk.