DNT and DPT candidates share their hopes and plans for the upcoming Chhoekhor-Tang by-election

Dawa, 42 from Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Tenzin Norbu, 35 from Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) are the two candidates who will be contesting for the upcoming by-election of Chhoekhor-Tang constituency. The resignation of the Opposition Leader has led to the by-election, however, the election date is yet to be confirmed. 

Both the candidates are gearing up for the up-coming election and hoping for a fair race.

In 2018, DPT President Pema Gyamtsho secured a total of 3,251 votes while DNT’s Dawa secured a total of 1,536 votes from the constituency. Even if the combined voters of PDP and BKP decide to vote for DNT, they would still fall short.

Dawa said that it was not a natural process when he decided to join as a by-election candidate just because he was 2018 election candidate. He joined after several meetings with Prime Minster, Cabinet Ministers and the party. He had made various and significant pledges which he could not push since he could not win in 2018.

Looking at the situation today, he has chosen few major pledges which is not there in the 12th FYP. He has asked the Prime Minister and party to support him in delivering and fulfilling the pledges that he is making right now.

Dawa said, “If I fail to fulfill the pledges for the second time after pledging I may not be able to face my people. Therefore, I made this deal with the government and with government’s support I decided to contest.”

He said he has been enjoying the trust and confidence of the government and for the past two years he has been working as a bridge between the government and the people, therefore, he thought that this is an opportunity where he can make a difference.

He said that even before joining the politics, the result in his constituency was so obvious, which was in favor of former Opposition Leader (OL) Dr. Pema Gyamtsho.

“I was contesting against my uncle (the former OL) and everyone in the country knows how competent, highly qualified and responsible he is. He is a man with strong principals and he is a wonderful human being,” Dawa said.

He further added that for OL every individual is same and every Bumthaps has reason to work for him. Therefore, he said that he can never be compared to him and in no way he can win against him.

He said that if DPT formed the government, OL would be the Prime Minister and all of these factors helped the OL’s victory and led to his defeat, Dawa added.

He is not sure how confident he is with the result, however, he said he would give his best, and is going to be as committed and honest as ever and he would make the pledges that are doable. However, he would reveal his pledges once the election date is announced.

He said he does not have different strategies to do his campaigning this time, he plans to go door-to-door and share with people what is relevant for them. “I am going to convince them that I am going to deliver whatever I pledge and tell them I am going to represent them at my best. And I think I can do it,” he added.

For this election in particular, he said that he is not going to look at the party lines, adding that whichever party one comes from he does not wish to segregate his pledges and he does not wish to align or talk about the commitments along the party lines.

He said that for him every voter is important and people of Chhoekhor-Tang are smart enough to know their needs and what benefits they are going to get by supporting which candidate.   

However, he said, “I would want to wish the DPT candidate the best in the election and we both should put in an effort to ensure that the election process is a fair one irrespective of what the result will be.”

“People of Chhoekhor-Tang should win at the end and not the two candidates,” he added.

Dawa has BA in English literature from Sherubtse College, a certificate in media and politics from Montreal, Canada, and a leadership certificate from Thailand. He has worked in Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) for 14 years before joining politics.

Meanwhile, DPT candidate for Chhoekhor-Tang, Tenzin Norbu said that he looks at the politics as a platform to serve the fellow Bhutanese in his own small yet sincere ways and to serve the nation at a bigger stage.

On his motivation to join DPT, he said, “The party’s overarching vision is to achieve Bhutan’s economic self-reliance, anchored in the principal of equity and justice, rings aloud during unusual difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we are reeling under.”

When it comes to campaigning, he said that due to global pandemic they will need to adhere to the MoH protocols, so they will plan their campaign accordingly as and when they get directives from the ECB. 

“One can never be confident with the outcome of the election when the sole power is vested in each and every individual to choose their choice of candidate. And if suppose I get elected, I will serve to the best of my ability,” he added.

He knows his people as Bumthaps and not as PDP, BKP or DNT, he said, adding that it is up to them to decide who to vote. He does not intend to strategize any plans and Bumthaps are people who understand Tha-Dam-Tsi and Lay-Jum-dray which is why they know whom to support, he added. 

Tenzin holds a BBM degree from Bangalore University, India, Post Graduates (PG) diploma in hotel management and tourism from the University of Applied sciences, Zurich, Switzerland and alemania German Language Institute, Luzern, Switzerland.

He has 11 yrs of productive experience in Tourism and Hospitality industry and is a certified professional German language Guide.

OL Dr Pema Gyamtsho has resigned to join the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as its new Director General.

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