For a multi-party democracy, maybe

Six parties will contest in the 2013 elections and it will be a multi-party democracy for Bhutan, unlike the currently lopsided ruling and the diminutive opposition.

This is the word on the streets from the men and women on the streets. It’s a version that is largely endorsed by many, though all of us may recall the events that warmed up to the doorsteps of the big elections in 2008.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT), Druk Mitsher Tshogpa (DMT) and Bhutan Kuengyam Party (BKP).

That’s the grand line-up for the next big one.

Minus the four new entries, everyone should recall that the line-up was pretty grand even back then when PDP instantly after its announcement displayed impressive horsepower, roping-in candidates; one potential aspirant after another.

DPT a merger of Bhutan People’s United Party (BPUP) and the All people’s Party (APP) joined the game late but impressed everyone with the big five in its folds.

The five former ministers inclusive of PM Jigmi Y. Thinley, finance minister Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu, economic affairs minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, foreign minister Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering, works and human settlement minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba made up for what PDP achieved in its early start to hook all the potential people.

At present we have equally competitive aspiring parties vying for 2013 elections, none with the magic or prominence of visible stalwarts like the incumbents.

Nonetheless, the end is nigh, and a twist in the tale is not commonplace for this institution. History is witness to it.

First thing first, the wannabes have to get themselves registered with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) as bonafide players.

And that is where eyeballs started to roll that maybe it could end up as a possible replay of the 2008 big show. Dearth of candidates, unavailability of candidates for President… etc.

It’s quite simple the way ECB has laid it down vis a vis chief election commissioner’s words – “any political party that is registered with the commission can submit a Letter of Intent to contest in the parliamentary elections”.

However, the current aspiring parties show more steam and zest to have arrived as a union and to take it in the same fashion till the end (if they reach the end), unlike those who merged, never registered etc. back then.

On this front, the ECB Chief said it is premature to make any judgment at this stage.

“We need to be very careful in accepting at face value any group or person as a political party. The mere making of a statement or a loud expression, supposedly as a political party, cannot be taken as a reliable basis to form a judgment or conclusion.”

Those were his words.

Presently Bhutan’s aspiring parties show no signs to let-up other than the occasional shot at ‘dearth of candidates for party president’.

With that, perhaps we will have multi-party elections in 2013 and eventually a multi-party democracy, hopefully.

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11 comments

  1. How can we say that there will be six parties contesting? Most parties are not registered yet. I doubt about PDP future to contest. 

  2. Yes, Dorji, I also doubt, but DPT future with all the scams, allegations and failures.

  3. Just because there are six parties it doesn’t mean the result will not be ‘lopsided ruling and diminutive opposition’ as the editor wishfully describes.  From what I understand, any number of parties can register and contest in the primary round but in the general election round there will only be two parties contesting for 47 seats in the National Assembly. Whether DPT gets voted in for the second term or not, only time will tell us though people may campaign for or against in different fashion using different types of media. 

  4. All allegations and so called scams are creations of TL and PDP to defame, destabilize and demean DPT Govt. and LJYT. Now our PM is in Tehran to attend the Non-aligned summit, but these two heroes of their own ego will charge PM of another scam for spending Govt. revenue. I bet they will write something on this because they are always after PM, be it in Bhutan or elsewhere.

    • What a name you have BIRLA, This name really suits you. You must be another PM or DPTS Chamcah Giri. So say what you want to say it doesnt may any difference but if you have ball n guts y dont you come forward and write articles like TL and OL instead of hiding yourself.

  5. what ever said and done out of the 3 arms of the government the Executive and the Judiciary are corrupted as we all know by now. Only the legislative wing under the dynamic leadership of the OL and NC are performing their duties. As of now the media especially thebhutanese spear headed by Tenzin Lamzang is  acting as the 4th  arm  of the government .This is good check and balance and we should all support instead of politicizing the whole issue by implicating them. 

    • For your kind information Media is not the fourth arm of the government. If it is, then media has no independent say. Media is the fourth estate which is an integral part of democracy.  
      Legislative is not headed by the OL. Legislative body is constituted by the Hon’ble Members of the Parliament and the Speaker conducts the debates and discussions. 

      OL is the Leader of Opposition party who provides critical views on the proposals made by the government the Executive. Executive’s role is to run the government. 

      Judiciary is totally independent. 

      Avenues of corruptions are there in all estates including the institution of your family, that is why we have ACC to tackle that but even they can be corrupted. 

  6. Birla, you are correct, some joker has already tweeted that since the cold war is over, NAM is no more relevant, so he believes since PM is attending the NAM summit in Tehran that he also is no more relevant.

    So what do we tell such pathetic people?

  7. Agay Haap must be very close relative of OL as they are from Haa. If I do not have guts I will not even post my comments. You also come forward in case you feel you are not coward.

  8. I request The Bhutanese to do some investigative work on all the candidates of all parties starting from the party presidents and bring out their dirt if any.

    Some are accusing you of being biased. Prove them wrong. The best thing you can do for the nation is to inform the people about the candidates that are contesting. We do not need a Bhutan led by corrupt people with only their self interest at heart.

  9. If TL has the guts, please do as suggested by Tshering P.

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