DNT still hopes to convince the MD as his decision is expected to impact the 2013 race
One of the strongest contenders for the 2013 elections the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) may have to continue looking for a Party President as their current hopeful, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, Managing Director of Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), has declined the post.
This could be a significant development in the 2013 race as the DGPC MD was not only looked at as a strong Party President material but some potential candidates had promised to join DNT if the MD accepted the Party President’s post. The DNT though already has 33 candidates.
The DNT, however, has not given up hope and has said that they will continue to try and persuade Dasho to take on the post of DNT Party President.
The DGPC MD talking to The Bhutanese said, “They had come to see me around three to four months ago. However, I have always said no to them though they have repeatedly asked me to join.”
Explaining his reason for not joining Dasho said, “Well I think first of all to join you have to be politically inclined to get a feel of politics. I have no such inclinations.”
He also said, “They keep coming back and saying I should join for the good of the people to serve them but I am serving them in the best manner by running the biggest corporation in the most important sector. I can contribute much more effectively as head of DGPC than on the other side.”
He said that hydro power already contributes 20% of the GDP and 40% revenue which would double by 2016-2017 with Punatsangchu, Mangdechu and another 7,000 to 8,000 MW of projects. “I can contribute much as I know what I am doing but when one enters the other side you don’t even know what area you are in and what they are asking you to do, ” he added.
When asked about what would be the impact on other potential candidates who had said they would join if only he did, Dasho said, “I have been told about that the party would be stronger and there are others looking forward to join should I agree to join. I feel overwhelmed that I am considered that good but you cannot take people to task by saying that I will join if only you join. It is not a group but personal choice. At the end of the day one must feel committed.”
Dasho Chhewang Rinzin also dismissed speculations that he had come under pressure from influential people in the government to not join the DNT.
“I think whenever something goes wrong the government is blamed. This is a decision one has to take on their own. Especially in an age like this who is to tell us to join or not join,” he said.
If Dasho Chhewang had decided to contest his constituency is from Samkhar-Kanglung-Ozorong. His potential rival would be the sitting candidate Lyonpo Minjur Dorji.
Dasho said, “Lyonpo Minjur is one of my best friends and if indeed I am to contest he will say ‘come in and I will go out’. Lyonpo Minjur would be first guy I would to talk to if I had joined. For a person just out of the civil service he has done a good job. The constituency has been happy to have him there.”
The DGPC MD said that already in 2007 he had come under similar pressure to join politics but at that time it was from people in his own village. Further elaborating he said, “As an MP I would not take the job I was already offered in 2007 and as a President I am not for that job as I would not be able to lead them”.
The DGPC, MD may have declined the Party President post for DNT but he said that from among the new parties DNT was, ‘the best rated to do very well’. He said that DNT has good candidates mostly from PDP and all of them have good experience and know what they are getting into.
The DGPC MD also made it clear that he has no future political ambitions.
The DGPC MD headed the Kurichu project from 1994, was the BPC MD in 2003 and became the DGPC MD in 2008. He was awarded the Red Scarf on 17th December, 2009 in recognition for his exemplary services in his field.
DNT Party Spokesperson Norbu Wangchuk said, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, had been unequivocally clear right from the beginning that they would not compromise in finding a president who fulfills their criteria.
“After combing high and low, we found such a person in Dasho Chhewang Rinzin – a man of highest integrity, knowledge, wisdom and experience. In him, we also discovered a man who has not only the vision but qualities of leadership that this country of ours requires,” said Norbu Wangchuk.
Therefore, said Norbu the DNT approached Dasho Chhewang to take up the mantle of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s leadership.
“However, understandably, given the timing of our approach and his current position as well as other considerations, he has expressed his inability to accept our offer,” said the spokesperson.
Norbu Wangchuk said that in keeping with the political expediency that they feel in Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa to get a man of immaculate credentials they have never given up hope of getting Dasho Chhewang.
DNT is confident Dasho Chhewang would realize the expediency of political participation to deepen Bhutanese democracy and will therefore at an appropriate juncture decide what, not just Nyamrup Tshogpa, but also the people of Bhutan expect from the likes of him.
According to political observers while DNT has good candidates there is no clear party leader projected compared to the DPT which already has four former ministers.