Question and Answer with DPT’s disqualified candidate Jigme Tshultim from Radhi-Sakteng
Q1. Now that the ECB has officially disqualified you on the grounds of your Security Clearance Certificate (SCC) what will your next move be?
A1. Sometimes our government machinery works in mysterious ways, so I am sure, there will not be enough time to complete the reapplication process. Nor will the ECB reconsider. As far as I’m concerned, I have always been a DPT member and always will be. My connection with the party goes all the way back to its very inception, when I helped establish the youth wing of the party. So, as a loyal member of the DPT, I will continue to render my services to the party in every which way I can.
Q2. Kinzang Choden was filed in as a backup candidate as per the ECB website list. Is she going to replace you or is there someone else? If it is Kinzang can you tell us something about her?
A2. To be honest, I know nothing about any such arrangement. But, I have reason to believe Jigme Wangchuk (originally of Druk Chirwang Tshogpa) might replace me. I will fully support anybody the party may field in my place. Having said that, both Jigme and Kinzang are extremely capable and competent, and I wish them all the luck.
Q3. It is believed that you did submit
a SCC valid till August 2013, but the ECB official found that your SCC had been rejected on June 3, 2013. Can you please clarify?
A3. I did submit a security clearance that I obtained from the RBP in August 2012, the validity of which is 12 months. I did not know it had been revoked so suddenly until the RO (Returning Officer) informed me. Apparently it states that I had reapplied on June 3 although, strangely enough, I was travelling at the time to Bumthang en-route to a meeting here in Thimphu, and I had no reason to reapply for clearance. No matter what, I hope the RBP will conduct an inquiry into the matter of who impersonated me. The very act of falsely impersonating me is a crime itself.
Q4. You have said that someone else had applied for your SCC. Who do you suspect and why?
A4. All I can say is that it wasn’t me who had reapplied for the SCC on June 3. Like I said earlier, I was travelling on that particular day.
Q5. If you are out of politics what will your next career move be?
A5. Well, there are so many development plans in the pipeline. I hope the party will involve me in the task of seeing these plans come to fruition. Also, I would truly like to work in close proximity with the people of my constituency by starting a dairy farm in my village.
Q6. Could you elaborate on the Paro case that led to your disqualification?
A6. It was an unfortunate incident. A night out with friends turned into a bar brawl, after I was provoked and sadly, what happened before the signing of the Constitution, it seems, will criminalize me for the rest of my life. For something that occurred at the spur of the moment, the tag of a ‘criminal’ is a little too heavy to digest, especially when the person I had a scuffle with has a past record with the police for fights and possession of firearms.
It saddens me to know that a person, once convicted, cannot find a way back into the mainstream. Here, I feel that many of our existing laws need to be relooked, not because it criminalizes a person, but because it is being interpreted in various ways by various institutions.
I cannot help, but relate to a line from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that I studied in school, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”