Parties gear up for 2018 elections

Political parties revealed several new candidates over the past few weeks as they plan to announce more candidatures at the end of this month.

The General Secretary of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, Tenzin Lekphell, said that they have 35 confirmed candidates as of now. “We are in advanced stages of discussion with potential candidates for the remaining constituencies. While there is no dearth of individuals showing interest, we are taking time to select the best among them, because people deserve no less than the best,” he said.

The party will finalize its candidates at the end of this month.

Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party has so far revealed 12 new candidates.

Recently, BKP revealed two new candidates. Basant Rana, a former bank employee, will represent the party from Shompangkha constituency in Sarpang for this year’s parliamentary elections. Sabitman Rai, a former civil servant, will contest from Phuentshogpelri-Samtse constituency in Samtse.

Opposition Party Druk Phuensum Tshogpa has confirmed 11 new candidates till date. The DPT revealed the names of three new candidates to contend for the upcoming National Assembly elections.

Dhendup, a recent university graduate, contest from Khamaed-Lunana constituency in Gasa and Lungten Namgyal will contest from Nanong-Shumar constituency. Likewise, DPT’s candidate for Khamdang-Ramjar constituency in Trashi Yangtse is a former educationist, Kinga Loday.

The DPT has lost the majority of its former candidates who have either retired, resigned from politics or even joined other parties.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to announce additional candidates since its first announcement at the party convention in November last year.

The party already has 33 sitting MPs in the house but it is not yet clear who will be in the final list with a few changes expected due to age, retirement and even performance.

In essence the other parties have been far ahead of PDP and DPT in announcing candidates and conducting familiarization tours.

“DNT hopes that Bhutanese will be adequately discerning, and elect a party that is right for the moment, the context, and the future. This election has to be about securing our future,” said Tenzin Lekphell.

He said that electoral competition is a challenge that all parties will have to face. “We do not foresee any major challenge that could stop people from electing DNT as the next government,” he said, “Over the past five years, it has proved its resilience and relevance as a political institution that can provide alternative leadership to the parties that are currently in the parliament.”

The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa had announced its intention to self finance but it has not released any names of candidates yet.

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