On January 31 2018, a week after the first flush of this season’s snowfall in Haa, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) announced Lam Dorji, former Finance Secretary, as its candidate from Bji-Katsho-Uesu constituency in Haa. The party also opened its Dzongkhag Party Office amid much excitement of its members and supporters in the dzongkhag and across the country.
A press release from the party stated, “Sixty one year old Lam Dorji is qualified as a chartered management accountant from London and has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales in UK. He has also undertaken an economic analysis course at International Monetary Fund and attended numerous international seminars and conferences.”
He also worked with UNDP Bhutan as the lead fiscal advisor for the biodiversity finance initiative or BIOFIN project. During this period, he carried out works on Government Cost Sharing, Development Finance Assessment and wrote a report on fiscal decentralization in Bhutan, according to his curriculum vitae.
Lam Dorji was appointed as the Finance Secretary in March 2008, just before the first democratic elections. Reappointed in 2011 for another term of five years, he served under the two elected governments and retired from the civil service in July 2016.
Prior to his appointment as the Finance Secretary, he served as the Secretary for Planning Commission for about four years. He was the Director of the Department of national Budget. Before that, he headed various divisions in the Ministry of Finance and at various point served as Chief Budget Officer, Deputy Director, Senior Budget Officer, Assistant Director and Assistant Budget Officer.
Lam Dorji said, “I am inspired by Dasho Neten’s leadership and joined the party with a hope of redefining politics and ensuring means are equally important while achieving successful ends”, according to the press release.
He also expressed his appreciation on the perseverance of Sonam Tobgay, the founder of BKP, who singlehandedly kept the institution relevant for the last nine (???? Is this correct) years.
Dasho Neten Zangmo, the party’s president, according to the press release, said, “I have known Lam Dorji as a very hardworking and conscientious officer and I am very happy at the prospect of working with him to take forward the party’s agenda of mindful governance GNH conscious socio-economic development. Having him as our candidate, we are sending the message that our party is committed in serving the nation and its people through a strong team of experienced, competent and conscientious party candidates”.
“We are very happy to have a person of Lam Dorji’s reputation and experience in our party. His profound knowledge and experience of public finance management and economic prudence shall help the party to successfully pursue its objective of national economic development in a sustainable and equitable manner,” party vice president, Sonam Tobgay, said. “We could not have wished for a better candidate for Bji-Katsho-Uesu constituency, which holds so much socio-cultural, geopolitical and historical importance and very much deserves a candidate of such high caliber.”
At the launch of its Dzongkhag Office the party said, “Haa is the birth place of modern education in Bhutan with the country’s first school in 1914. Over the years, it has produced many luminaries such as the first Prime Minister of Bhutan, the present Prime Minister, First Finance Minister, First Bhutanese Doctor and many more”.
BKP also said, “Haa valley takes pride in receiving Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s visit along with his daughter Indira Gandhi in 1958 that laid the foundation for Indo-Bhutan friendship blessed by mutual trust and respect”.