The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), one of the two registered parties outside the Parliament, say they are stronger now than before, and working hard to win the Third General Elections in 2018.
When other political parties are actively introducing their candidates all over the social media and on their own websites, DNT has maintained a low profile. But behind the scenes, DNT team is working hard for the election, party officials said.
“Election is nearing, so preparation for the election and team work is the important part,” a DNT official said. The confidence stems from the enormous amount of support expressed by a diverse group of people from across the country, and from the number of candidates that have expressed their interest to join the party, party officials added.
DNT has completed the process of identification and nomination of candidates. They have confirmed 47 candidates from the 47 constituencies. Likewise, its manifesto is also being strengthened, “Our vision is ‘Narrowing the Gap’,” officials said.
In steps towards its preparation for the upcoming elections, DNT is set to convene the Party General Assembly on 13th May, at the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) hall.
The DNT officials pointed out that the election of the party president, a formalization of the party leadership, will be done at the convention. The event is also seen as an opportunity to get to know the party better, its leadership, as well as the aspirations and ideology it bases itself on, officials said.
DNT members, coordinators and supporters will make up much of the participants on the day. The convention is also open to the public. As of now, DNT has booked 1,500 seats in the hall. DNT stated, “We are expecting more people witnessing the events, and we seek the presence of our mainstream media and also solicit coverage in view of communicating the significant party event to the people of Bhutan.”
The officials said that the party’s Acting President Dr Tandin is likely to step down for Dr Lotay Tshering during the party convention. “DNT seems to have finally settled down to one in the form of Dr Lotay Tshering, a popular and practicing doctor and surgeon, but party members have to elect him.”
As for declaration of candidates, DNT said that some of the candidates have obligations at their work place so it will not be possible to declare all the candidates. DNT added, “Party is not introducing the candidates during the convection, for that, the party will have separate events to introduce the candidates.”
In an earlier interview with DNT on candidates, DNT said, “Of the identified candidates, majority are in their constituencies undertaking familiarization tours with approval from the Election Commission of Bhutan.” DNT said, “We have a few civil servants who are continuing to serve, but we hope they will resign in due time and have time to carry out their familiarization tours.”
DNT said its main challenge lies in finalizing the candidates and finding the funds for an effective campaign. “The party is confident that with two national elections behind us, the people are now more aware and knowledgeable about democracy. They will not only choose the right party, but will also choose the most qualified and capable candidate,” DNT said.
Party officials said their greatest strength has always been the team of candidates and supporters and the democratic manner in which they have made all their decisions. “We must ensure that democracy works, and for that, it is critical that DNT be offered as a choice for the people to vote. Our unified strength – as Nyamrup – is our collective strength.”
There is a growing sense of change, which is good for democracy and DNT offers that change according to party officials. “Rating and predictions, as we have seen in the past, is not reliable, nevertheless, we have built a strong team and a strong party that enables us to have confidence in 2018 election.”