At a DNT press conference held yesterday DNT’s South Thimphu candidate designate Dr Lotay Tshering said he does not know who is responsible for informing the public about the common forum, but that the better person to consult will be the Returning Officer (RO) of South Thimphu.
South Thimphu RO Dr Jambay Dorji said, “The common forum schedule is decided upon during the meetings with the election coordinators, representative from four political parties and national observers of the designated constituencies.”
The RO’s responsibility is only to moderate the common forum in a fair manner.
“The public turnover for the common forum held at the YHS was around 15-20, representatives. The four parties consulted to cancel the forum already knowing that for whom the public turned up to support,” Dr Jambay said.
“The people at Thimphu might be busy with their own works, might have thought it’s better to sit and watch it on TV rather than attending,” he added.
He said that two parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the DNT have requested for the common forum to be rescheduled for which the representatives from four political parties will hold a meeting today.
According to the ECB guidelines once the common forum is cancelled a rescheduling is not possible, but it’s beneficial for the citizen as well political parties that they are holding a meeting.
Dr Jambay said that the concerned person to inform the public is the Executive Secretary of the Thimphu Thromde. The Executive Secretary said they have appointed two thromde thuemis for South Thimphu, namely Namgay Tshering of Babesa and Kinley of Changzamtog-Olakha.
Changzamtog-Olakha thromde thuemi Kinley said that he had asked chipens to inform the public.
During the DNT conference, DNT candidates disapproved views presented by Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) about discontinuing the common forum, politicizing of monk body and armed forces, etc.
“The discontinuation of the common forum is not healthy and undemocratic,” DNT candidate Dr Lotay said.
“It is an event organized by the ECB in the best interest of the public to foster free and fair elections, and a platform to share the views to the public,” he added.
According to DNT any political party that rejects common forum, is disrespecting the wisdom of the ECB, undermining free and fair election, dismissing democracy and also disrespect to the people of Bhutan.
DNT’s candidate designate from North Thim Throm constituency, Sangay Zam said, “Common forum is the transparent platform, healthy platform, and I wish it will continue”.
The party interpreted that dratshang and armed forces are citizens of Bhutan first, though they are not allowed to participate in the electoral process and politics, it should not mean the elected government should not serve them.
DNT candidate designate from Doga-Shaba constituency, Paro Nima Tshering said, “Monks are the reservoir of our culture and tradition, and soldiers are the security of our nation”.
It was said during the conference that DNT is not making any promises because finance must be enabled for any promises.
DNT’s first step, if elected, as a government would be fiscal austerity by minimizing wasteful spending.