The Bhutanese interviewed the two Party Presidents, Pema Chewang of Bhutan Tendrel Party and Tshering Tobgay of Peoples’ Democratic Party with six questions.
1. Why should voters choose PDP?
Because we are the more experienced party having served in opposition and in the government; because we have a proven track record of fulfilling our pledges; because we have more capable candidates; because we have a manifesto that will revitalize and strengthen our economy, and fulfil the hopes and aspirations of our people.
2. Top three priorities after being elected?
To revitalize the economy
To finalize and implement the 13th Five Year Plan
To serve His Majesty in the development of the Gelephu Mindfulness City
3. What kind of leadership will you give if elected as the PM?
As a servant to the Tsa-Wa-Sum, I am committed to serving His Majesty the King, our beloved country, and the people of Bhutan with utmost diligence and dedication.
4. Your economic plans on being elected?
On the economy, the first thing in the short-term is the Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP) and that will bring in much needed liquidity for loans and foreign currency. That will give the much-needed impetus for the economy and it will instil hope and confidence in our people.
In the medium term, we need to improve the business environment. That includes ease of doing business, taxes, regulation. All must be made business friendly. Support retail and small business and farming sector across the country.
We must support CSI’s, tourism (which will generate employment and bring revenue), construction and manufacturing and mining. ESP will revitalize the economy and rest will rapidly strengthen the economy.
To make the economy develop we will rapidly expand the hydropower sector and all industries aligned with the hydro sector.
We will bring in large amounts of FDI.
5. What has the response from people been like during the campaigns?
We have been blessed with a huge outpouring of public attendance and support in our campaign meetings. What is clear is that our public is determined to take part in the democratic process to ensure a brighter future for ourselves and our children.
6. How will you support the Gelephu Mindfulness City project?
Gelephu will be a beacon to the world on mindfulness living and growth. As such the Gelephu Mindfulness City is a gift from His Majesty the King to Bhutan and the world, symbolizing a commitment to a mindful and sustainable future.
His Majesty the King has already done much of the groundwork for the development of Gelephu City. In addition, His Majesty outlined the vision of the Mindfulness City and its priorities of energy, connectivity and human capital in order to protect our country, spirituality and future.
The government’s duty is to serve in any and every capacity possible to quickly realize these national aspirations.
1. Why should voters choose BTP?
It is very evident that even though we are a new party and not even one year old we made it through the primary round. We have our vision, our manifesto and our candidates mostly from the civil servants. People want to vote for change. PDP was Opposition and Ruling for five years each. People are looking for change.
I am of a very humble nature and as a leader they have believed in me and in my long years in service.
2.Top three priorities after being elected?
I want to improve the system and do away with redundant rules and regulations.
We want to review some acts including the Procurement Rules and Regulations.
Secondly, we want to focus on the infrastructure like connectivity, energy.
Thirdly, we want to see how we can enhance the household income.
3.What kind of leadership will you give if elected as the PM?
I will be very straightforward for the national cause. I will take bold decisions for the national cause and be firm.
I will be accountable and responsible for any failure. I want to ensure we do in-depth consultations with all stakeholders on policies and regulations and not just on paper but actual consultation in an inclusive manner.
4.Your economic plans on being elected?
In the economy whether BTP or PDP comes we have to deal with it and there is no choice on that. In order for the economy to flourish we first need to create an enabling environment for the businesses to pick up. Redundant rules and regulations has to be done away with.
This is a natural course for the economy to be booming.
But we need to empower our people and our private sector people. Make rules and regulations very friendly and enabling.
5.What has the response from people been like during the campaigns.
The response seems to be very positive and voters from other three parties want to team up with us for change.
6.How will you support the Gelephu Mindfulness City project?
We need to support this project which is in the larger interest and future generations too. It will help with job creation and other economic benefits.
For the Gelephu Mindfulness City if BTP comes to power we want to support it. Not by putting our hands in the project but in terms of how we can make that project successful through road connectivity from the west, south and east and also internet connectivity.
We also want to prepare for the Gelephu City project by skilling up our youths in different areas. When we construct Gelephu there is need for skilled workers. The private sector, domestic industries etc. needs to be fielded. The TVET needs to be upskilled to the world class standard and not the current standards.