The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) has announced 15 more candidates and with this the party has publicized 22 candidates in total.Earlier the party had revealed seven candidates.
The current crop of candidates are mainly young with most of them in their late 20s.
Namgay Om, Educationist
Veteran educationist, Namgay Om, 55, is DCT’s contender from Dremetsi-Ngatshang constituency in Mongar.
With 28 years of experience in the government service, mostly in the education sector, Namgay Om also headed the Royal Education Council (REC), Royal Institute of Management (RIM), Paro College of Education and served as principals of various high schools during her career.
Namgay Om has a Master’s degree in education and Master’s degree in Public administration as well.
As an educationist, education is an issue closest to her heart. “I have been part of the Bhutanese education system since I began my career as an English teacher in 1979 and I humbly believe that I have positively contributed in educating generations of Bhutanese students,” she said.
She added, “Even as a politician I would continue to contribute to the development of the education system in the country, which is by far one of the most critical sectors in the country.
Namgay Om will also prioritize women empowerment, youth unemployment, and social issues that continue to plague Bhutanese Society.
Hem Kumar Ghalley
He is among the youngest of DCT’s candidates and a software programmer to contest from Phuentsholing Throm constituency.
He said, “My youth is my strength” and he wants to set an example and encourage young people to join politics and take leadership roles. He added saying “So much importance has been given to youth by our kings and leaders, and I feel obliged to live up to their expectations.”
He wants to focus on youth issues like unemployment problems, crime, drugs and rural-urban migration. He feels that these issues are interconnected and interrelated.
He has a bachelors in Computer Application from Royal Thimphu College (RTC).
With a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford International University, Thailand, Tenzin Lhamo is DCT’s candidate from Gangzur-Minjay constituency.
With her experience in research and marketing consultancy, Tenzin Lhamo joined DCT because of her sense of appreciation for the party’s philosophies and leadership of its President Lily Wangchhuk.
Inspired by her party president, as a woman and a leader and by her story to join politics, she said as a woman, “We can do so much more for the good of the people.”
Tenzin Lhamo’s top priorities are women empowerment and education. “Bhutanese women deserve more, in terms of respect and rights. With right policies and education, we can change the discriminatory mindset and culture towards women and I believe in equality between genders and hope to push for it,” she said.
Pushpa Raj Humagai From Ugyentse-Yoeseltse constituency, 54 years old Pushpa Raj Humagai brings along many years of experience in public administration and planning. The DCT candidate from Samtse has a Master’s degree in development planning and a Bachelors degree in Economics and political science.
He served as the Planning Officer and acting Dzongrab in Chukha dzongkhag from 1987 to 1991. He also worked as a Planning Officer in Thimphu Dzongkhag as well and HRD Project Coordinator with the erstwhile Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Later he started his own private company in 1999.
With decades of working experiences both in government as well as private sector and years of knowledge, he said, “Now I feel it is time to give back to society in whatever way I can.”
“I believe my planning background and experience on rural realities would best suit me to represent their interests and present their issues, pertaining especially to their development concerns,” he said.
The 29 year old DCT representative from Lingmukha-Toewang constituency believes Political power is a means to uplift people’s wellbeing and not an end in itself.
She has a degree in B.com and for the last five years, she worked with the Buddha Project and Royal Education Council (REC).
Pema Lhamo said she joined DCT for two reasons, firstly because a dynamic woman president is leading the party and secondly because, the party’s collective vision is to create a united, prosperous and harmonious society.
“There is so much that needs to be done and I am confident that DCT will certainly make a huge difference in people’s lives,” she said.
Her particular interest lies in promoting rural prosperity and wellbeing.
DCT’s candidate from Pagli-Samtse constituency is 31-year-old entrepreneur Samten Lepcha who has been doing business for five years.
He is a B.com graduate and he decided to join politics to seek a bigger platform to serve the people and the country.
“As a businessman, most of the time, we tend to focus too much on our venture, forgetting that there are bigger callings in life,” he said. He chose to join politics thinking that he could do something for the people.
A person who draws inspiration from His Majesty the King, Samten Lepcha said given an opportunity, young people can do a lot to make a difference and “I strongly feel that youth must play a pro-active role in the decision-making process,” he said.
His main priority would be youth empowerment through right skills and jobs, incentives to encourage entrepreneurial culture, and promoting youth involvement in decision-making at the highest levels.
DCT’s candidate from Drujeygang-Tseza constituency, Dagana is Rinzin Lhamo, 27 hopes to put her leadership skills to test at the national level.
A very confident, young woman, Rinzin Lhamo said that some may judge her decision to join politics as a suicide mission but she takes it as a solemn responsibility to work for the betterment of the country and people.
Rinzin Lhamo has a Bachelors degree from Sherubtse College and she has served as a girl’s councilor in the College. Today she wants to take this to altogether to another level.
“I am daring to do something bigger in life and I am confident that I can do it. It’s simply not fair to judge people by their age,” she said. She believes in the strength of being woman and a youth and can contribute positively to Bhutan’s progress.
Her core issues are rural development, youth and women empowerment.
Khem Raj Pokwal
Having lived most of his life in the grassroots he now wants to promote a higher level of grassroots participation in the national decision-making process.
The party candidate from DCT for Gelephu constituency prior to his political venture was running a small business, exporting oranges during mandarin season in winters, after his bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
“I have learnt a great deal as a small time businessman in my constituency in the past few years and now I would like to bring up grassroots issues for discussions at the national forum,” he said.
He said the benefits of economic growth must trickle down to the grassroots level. “In the end, it’s the people who must benefit,” he said.
A B.Com graduate who has worked in the hotel and hospitality industry for four years and as a contract teacher for two years, Sonam Yangzom is DCT’s candidate from Chumey-Ura constituency in Bumthang.
She joined DCT because of the party’s beliefs and ideology. Having a woman as party president further fuelled her interest, she said.
The most important issue for her is redefining the education system though radical changes in the curricula.
She said that the unemployment problem in the country, mainly owing to mismatch of skills and jobs available, has mostly to do with the flaws in the education system.
“Our education system has remained rigid while the economy and the job market are constantly in a flux. We need to produce graduates not only with the right outlook toward life but also with professional skills,” she said.
DCT’s Bumdeling-Jamkhar constituency candidate in Trashiyangtse is Sonam Choden, a BA Sociology graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women in India.
Sonam Choden is motivated by her party’s president Lily Wangchhuk to join politics at a young age. She is a young, dynamic leader with a farsighted vision for the country, she said. “I was deeply inspired by her and the party’s ideals to work toward a united, happy and prosperous Bhutan.”
As a youth, she wanted to be a crusader against several youth issues that plagued the country, “I understand the problems of the youth and I will be able to explicitly raise the concerns of the youth,” she said.
She will be up in arms against political bigwigs from other parties but that does not deter her. “I am confident of making my voice heard. I am genuine in my intention. I may be young and may not have experience but I have the conviction to serve the people and make a difference,” she said.
With a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Madras University in India and later an English teacher at Dzongkha Development Training Institute in Bajo, Sherab Choden, 27, is DCT’s candidate from Deothang-Gomdar constituency in Samdrup Jongkhar.
She said, “Chirwang Tshogpa has given me an opportunity to participate in the upcoming elections and contribute to the development and wellbeing of our people and I believe in the party’s vision of bringing about positive change in the country and collectively we can achieve that.”
Her sole purpose of joining politics was driven by the motivation to reach out to rural communities and bridge the income gaps between the rich and the poor.
“We must progress as a nation and a people together. Among many others, Chirwang believes in the noble philosophy of equity, balanced socio-economic development and creating enabling conditions for people to pursue happiness,” Sherab Choden said adding that “I will endeavor to achieve these goals”.
DCT’s candidate from Khamdang-Ramjar constituency in Trashiyangtse is Sonam Tenzin.
For him the upcoming elections is a national obligation which he will try to fulfill as a responsible citizen. He said, he is providing more choice to his constituents by standing from his constituency.
“Elections are all about giving the people diverse choices to choose from and if they deem that I have the right qualities to represent them, I am sure they will vote for me and my party,” he said.
Sonam Tenzin has worked as an administrative officer with Bhutan Youth and later started his own business firm.
“We have always encouraged our young to be self-employed as entrepreneurs. That there is a fundamental disconnect between the reality and what has been done and we need to create conducive environment where brilliant ideas and enterprising youth can be successful,” he said.
Issues of rural development and prosperity are also close to his heart.
Her political conviction defies her age and after all she is just 25 and already a candidate of DCT. Yoezer Dema, will be contesting from Bongo-Chapcha constituency in Chhukha.
Yoezer Dema makes a point clear, quite honestly, “I may be judged based on that experience factor against other senior, experienced candidates but what I have got is the courage and the motivation to relentlessly work for the wellbeing of the people in my constituency,” she said.
Her commitment to serve the people and work harder to make a difference in their lives is her greatest strength.
She is a graduate in Political Science. She was a history teacher prior to joining the party. Her priority would be in the areas in youth and women empowerment and taking development to remote communities in the country.
DCT’s choice for Sipsu constituency in Samtse is a 27 year-old former teacher, Nima Dukpa and he has a bachelor’s degree in geography (honors).
According to Nima Dukpa, his strong rural footing gives an edge over others. “I have a strong connection with my native village and I am confident of raising the concerns of the people there,” he said.
For Nima Dukpa, issues of youth unemployment, gender equality, social crimes, and balanced socio-economic development are on top of his agenda.
“We must view all problems in our society in a holistic manner. There is always some connection in the manner they manifest and I will endeavor to address these issues through proper consultation with the people at the grassroots and other relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Dorji Dema who has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from India is DCT’s candidate for Mongar constituency.
She worked as an administrative officer with Padmasambhava Tours and Treks and she is also a freelance resource and focal person at South East Asian Counseling Program, International Educational Research Project.
As a candidate, she aspires to promote women’s roles and encourage more grassroots participation in the national decision-making process.
“For democracy to succeed, our people at the grassroots need to have a strong voice at national forums like the parliament,” she said.