After the acceptance of the Letters of Intent (LoI) from the political parties by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), four political parties have made it, and are geared up and going full steam with works on the election campaigns for the primary round of the National Assembly (NA) elections on 31 May, 2013.
The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) and its candidates are busy these days, with campaign strategy meetings. The DCT President Lily Wangchhuk said that 47 candidates will leave for their respective constituencies from today.
In the midst of the politicking hullabaloo, there have been rumors that the party received donations from other sources. The DCT clarified the funds came from membership fees paid by the candidates, and through voluntary contributions.
The party has set up offices in 20 Dzongkhags, and has 700 registered members. There are five former National Council (NC) candidates in the party. DCT, as compared to the three other political parties, has the highest number of female candidates at 14, to add to its strength.
The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) has around 3000 registered members, and 22 party offices. The party’s 47 candidates are also ready for campaign, and some of the candidates have already left for their respective constituencies.
DPT Secretary General Thinley Gyamtsho said the campaign will be conducted according to the ECB rules and regulations, and candidates will be assisted by senior party leaders. Developments on the party front include five women candidates and two former NC members who have joined DPT.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has a list that has 408 registered members, and 25 party offices across the country. With five women candidates and two former NC candidates, the party is ready to jumpstart campaign activities, said media spokesperson Damcho Dorji.
All the dzongkhag and youth coordinators are gathered in their respective constituencies to support their party candidates, and support the party manifesto, said the PDP Secretary General.
Damcho Dorji said they will depend on ECB funds during the campaigning period.
In the camp of the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), the party is all business as demonstrated by Aum Dorji Choden, the party President who is already on the move with her campaign routines.
According to Secretary General of DNT, Tenzin Lekphel, the party has about 300 registered members, 20 Dzongkhag coordinators, 47 constituency coordinators and 205 gewogs coordinators who will help party candidates with the campaign. “For the campaign, the party has conducted a five day meeting,” he said.
There are six women candidates and one former NC candidate listed in DNT.
The campaign begins with the first public debate today on the ideology of the political parties, and a second public debate on issue-based topics will be held on 10 May. The common forum for all 47 Demkhongs will start from 11 May. And the campaigns end on 29 May, according to the ECB.
Tshering Dorji, Sangay Choda and Thukten Zangpo / Thimphu