Although a few cases during the primary elections and recent incidences suggest the ineffectiveness of common forums, the candidates in Lhuentse are very much in favor of the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB)-instituted common forums.
Candidates of the dzongkhag are busy with the gewog level common forum, which has already begun. Prior to this, candidates had participated in the general elections public debate for the two constituencies of Gangzur – Minjay and Menbi –Tsenkhar that concluded recently.
The common forum for the Gangzur-Minjay constituency started from June 17, and as of now, Kurtoe gewog has been covered.
People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Lobzang Dorji from the Gangzur-Minjay constituency has also started to visit other gewogs. The 25-year-old PDP candidate said through such forums, he is able to express his views and connect with the people.
Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) candidate Karma Rangdol also favors the common forums as he does not have to walk much, and is able to convey his message to the people.
The 60-year-old DPT candidate for Gangzur-Minjay is mentally prepared for the big day, as it is the day, when people will elect their choice of representatives who will be their voice in the Parliament.
“One has to be prepared either way during the results and we are here to serve the people. The people have options and they have right to vote for the right person,” he said.
PDP candidate for Menbi-Tsenkhar Yeshey Dorji is prepared for the common forum in Menbi gewog where he will talk about the developments plans for the gewog.
Besides that, he will highlight some of the important national pledges. He also plans to go for door-to-door campaign if time permits.
DPT candidate Tshering Tenzin of Menbi-Tsenkhar could not be contacted for his comments.
The common forum will continue in Menbi on Friday, Khoma goes next on Saturday, forum for Minjay will be held on Sunday, Gangzur will go on Monday, the common forum for Tsenkhar will be held on Tuesday, Jary will go on Wednesday, and finally the common forum will end in Metsho gewog on June 30.
The returning officer (RO), Sangay Dorji of Gangzur-Minjay constituency said during the first common forum, the voter turnout was good, but he is worried whether it will be the same in the upcoming common forums.
“As most of the villagers are engaged in their fields and unable to attend the common forums, the dates for the common forums were fixed based on the convenience of the villagers and the candidates,” the RO said.
Lhuentse has a total of 14,389 eligible voters.