Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering may not be coming back in 2013 due to health reasons
While there has been a lot of attention on the new parties coming into the Bhutanese electoral scene the ruling Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, (DPT) party has maintained a low profile.
The party, however, is on a comfortable footing with it being on the verge of clearing its remaining debts and also with no leadership or candidate crisis unlike many other parties.
Talking to ‘The Bhutanese’ the DPT secretary, Thinley Gyamtsho confirmed, that the party has with them the two former DPT candidates who had lost in 2008 which is Sangay Thinley of Gasa and Tshewang Dorji of Haa.
He, however, said that at this juncture the party cannot invite candidates to join the party.
The secretary said that though the Prime Minister and Party President, Jigmi Y Thinley has not made any categorical statements on his plans to lead the party; the DPT party and its well wishers are requesting him to be the president even in the upcoming elections.
The Secretary, however, said that the foreign Minister Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering might not come back on health grounds.
Currently DPT is working towards paying off its debt of Nu 1.3mn to three media houses and these are Nu 600,000 to Bhutan Times, Nu 300,000 to Bhutan Observer and Nu 200,000 to Kuensel respectively.
“The highest arrear we owe is to Bhutan Times but we are confident that we will be able to clear off the debt by next week,” said DPT secretary Thinley Gyamtsho.
He said the fund committee of DPT has already found out ways to pay off the Nu 1.3mn debt and have also asked party members to contribute.
“We have received a good response from the party members, they were willing to contribute to help pay off party’s debt,” said the DPT secretary.
The DPT is managing its debts through a combination of a 10% contribution from MP’s salaries, ministers and MPs taking loans to pay its debts and contributions from its party members.
The DPT Secretary said that it was too early to comment on the final list of candidates for the 2013 general elections clarifying that DPT had not yet discussed the issuance of party tickets.
In an earlier comment on the issue the Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley said “selection of candidate at this moment is too harsh as serving candidates have still one year to serve and more over it won’t encourage them to carry out their responsibility.”
A DPT party insider said that there would not be any large scale change in the list of candidates as the party itself owes the candidates a lot especially in terms of the sacrifice made by the MPs in taking reduced salaries for the last four years.
The DPT secretary also accused the new parties of not being ethical in their criticism of the ruling government.
He alleged that the new parties who have not officially registered with Election Commission are criticizing government acts and policies as political parties.
“It is not ethical on their part to do so, criticism if passed as an individual or concerned citizen is okay but without any formalities attacking the government seems unhealthy for a new democracy” added Thinley Gyamtsho
He also said that it seemed that the newly formed parties have already started with their campaigning besides doing their ground work