Post-primaries, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) made it as a hot topic in every news segment, especially after seven of its candidates, which includes its president and vice president, joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The party still remains the flavor of the week, and now the burning topic for political debates. DNT is mainly being accused of forming a coalition with the former opposition party, PDP.
The water of tarnish has probably sunk in deep enough, as the DNT decided to call a press conference on Thursday to clarify its independent stand.
“We would like to appeal to both parties to refrain from inciting our party workers to join them, and in spreading false rumors about DNT’s status as a political party,” said party vice president (VP) Achyut Bhandari.
DNT had neither merged nor formed a coalition, as it undermines the party’s very founding principle of building a strong political institution, and reduces its own prospect for future elections.
“We would like to reiterate that seven candidates have joined the PDP on their own accord, apparently keeping the interest of democracy and the people of their constituencies in mind. We cannot bind them to stay in the party. People will come and go, but the Nyamrup sprit shall live on as an institution,” said Achyut Bhandari.
This is, in essence, acknowledged by the ECB in its press release on June 17 following a meeting between all the political parties on June 10, wherein all political parties had agreed on the need to ensure that the letter, as well as sprit of the Constitution, and the laws are upheld and that they are committed to abide by the laws at all times.
The DNT VP also stated the departure of its former president, vice president and five candidates have not impacted the functioning of the party. All of its founding members including a vice president, general secretary, treasurer, spokesperson, and other office bearers are in place.
DNT conveyed that the strength of the party lies within the participation of every member of DNT, and not on the presence of one or two individuals.
“We have always believed that one or two individuals should not make or break a party,” said the DNT VP.
The party is scheduled to elect a new president in the next annual party convention. In the meantime, the party is led by its VP, the general secretary, and the remaining seven members of the central executive committee.
DNT’s spokesperson Dr Tandin Dorji said, “Democracy is very young, we are all learning this valuable experience for DNT. Actually, we started off, we took experience of DPT and PDP, we want to learn and take the strength they had built and avoid the mistake they have made, similarly as we hope over next five years, we as a party we are developing to keep in touch with constituencies, we will engage our candidates and encourage them to closely keep in touch with their constituencies and voters building our strategy on how to encourage our party coordinators and workers to remain active.”
If the new government allows, DNT will move around the country and has plans to open three regional offices in the next five years, besides depending on the resources.
DNT candidate Dr Lotay Tshering said, “To strengthen democracy, one need not be in Parliament as a registered political party, I thought that was the most significant step. DNT will be able to contribute in other ways to strengthen democratic process in the country so it does not mean that if it is not represented in Parliament, DNT does not have a role to play in the democratic process. Next five years we will be involved in personal works, but overall, we will be busy in the political works.”
The DNT VP Achyut Bhandari thanked all its party supporters and voters for giving 17% of the national votes.
He said the successful outcome for a new party has firmly placed DNT as a strong political institution in the country.