The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) President Dr Tandin Dorji while responding to a question on DNT’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2018 polls also said that Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) did not follow the proper procedures in electing its new President, Dasho Neten Zangmo.
“When BKP took out a party President they did it without a convention which is the requirement as per the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB). There is a proper procedure for electing a President,” said Dr Tandin.
DNT candidate for Athang-Thedtso Kinley Wangchuk said that even before he joined politics he saw and heard about party conventions electing Presidents and the results being announced in the media.
He said he referred to the Political Parties Rule of the Kingdom of Bhutan by the ECB which clearly lists out the procedure for selection of Party President.
Saying though he personally ‘liked’ Dasho Neten he had to point out the provisions.
Reading from the rulebook he said, “‘A political party shall submit to the Commission the results of intra party election with details of the total number of votes cast and the number of votes secured by each contestant, or all of its party office bearers and a copy of the party’s notifications declaring the results of the election.”
Kinley said that Dasho Neten Zangmo is known to be strong follower of rules but her very first entry is not in keeping with election rules.
When contacted, Dasho Neten declined to comment on the issue.
However, the former BKP President Sonam Tobgay said, “It is not within DNT’s prerogative to pass such a remark on a distinguished person such as Dasho Neten taking on as President of BKP. We know the electoral laws and are quite well in touch with the relevant authorities.”
A BKP member pointed out that the rule does not say it has to happen in 24 or 48 hours but that BKP can have such conventions in the future to formally elect the President. The member instead questioned if DNT had followed the convention rule.
Here DNT General Secretary Tenzin Lekphell said that DNT had followed the rules and submitted all records to the ECB on the election of its current party office bearers. He also said that one cannot say one will have a convention in the future when a President has already been announced.
The DNT in 2013 itself had approached Dasho Neten to join as a candidate.
Dr Tandin clarified that they had approached her as a candidate and not a president and after a month she had replied saying no for two reasons.
The first reason being that DNT was already well established with good candidates and secondly that she wanted to join a party where she can join and make a difference and take the agenda forward.
Dr Tandin said that on hindsight with her joining BKP as its President it may have to do with her desire to be the Party President.
However, Dr Tandin qualified his statement saying that it is good that a figure like her is joining politics as DNT has always said that good people must join politics to take it forward.
In an indirect jibe to BKP and other parties Dr Tandin said that DNT would not be known as a party of personality politics with a very strong and dominating President, but rather it would offer a good team and good individual candidates.