Party president’s role in Bhutan is overrated, BKP

BKP spokesperson Sonam Tobgay said the party is more focused on equally empowering its members and shall not form any core group and will always abide by the ‘three Cs’

Bhutan Kuen-Ngyam Party (BKP) with its slogan ‘concern for all’ believes in collective consensus of its members and is of the opinion that the role and post of a party president in the country is overrated, (perhaps a slight hint at the incumbent Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT)’s state of affairs).

While other parties are on a presidential hunt to match the high caliber DPT ‘master politician’ Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley, BKP hasn’t felt the fret yet.

Talking to local reporters in the capital, the party spokesperson said the role of a party leader is a little overrated in Bhutan. “We are not undermining the role of a leadership, we have strong concern for leadership but BKP is not overly worried about the leader at this point of time,” he said.

He said the more important thing the party is worried about is a ‘strong team composition’ in terms of the ‘three Cs’; clean, committed and competent, who are willing to make ‘personal sacrifices’ towards the cause of nation building.

“Each and every member within the party should play critical role and responsibilities and be given equal empowerment in terms of dialogue, decision making and debate,” Sonam Tobgay said.

He said maximum responsibility cannot be placed upon the leader alone even if one can handle it. “Although admirable, it is not sustainable. The time has come where it is not desirable or sustainable”, he said.

Unlike other political parties, the spokesperson said there will be no committees or secretariats such as a ‘core group’. “We do not believe in a core group, we believe in all 47 (candidates),” he said.

Asked if the first two democratic political parties in the country are being fair in terms of equal empowerment among its members, he said, “I do not wish to comment on the other parties apart from Kuen-Ngyam but we really want to work towards collective knowledge, collective wisdom, collective experience and collective empowerment”.

Deviating from the traditional method of decision making by way of majority, BKP prefers consensus. “We would like to go by consensus rather than by majority although in democratic processes majority rules,” he said.

“100% consensus is vital for the institutions sustainability and success”. However, he said it will be a challenge for “it is difficult to materialize”.

The team composition he said is of paramount importance and then “a leader should emerge from that”.

“It takes much longer time in terms of consensus, in terms of decision making but as long as the members have the three Cs in them, the prerequisite is met”, he added.

About members, Sonam Tobgay reiterated on his earlier comments to the media that BKP comprises of members who have in them the ‘three Cs’. “Winning or losing is only one outcome of the entire engagement. We are more concerned about the cause, more overvalued about the conviction, more inspired about the belief and that is to selflessly dedicate ourselves towards nation building”.

As of September 4, 2012 BKP has confirmed 29 candidates of which four are women. Two women candidates are currently in the civil service one of whom will be resigning to join BKP tomorrow.

Sonam Tobgay also said the party has engaged informal discussions with the Election Commission of Bhutan, to ensure its registration as a legitimate political party while the Party Charter is in final draft.

BKP which forayed into the political scene late July this year has now confirmed its Secretary General and aims for registration by October.


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  1. What a dumb statement to make by a spokesperson of a new party.

  2. One can hardly be tamed if one sees everything pessimistically filled with negative energy.

  3. It makes sense to have a strong team especially in light of institutional and entity building and not depending on one singular guy for everything. Post 2008 we have realized it is important to have strong candidates as well. 

    • But to say that a party president’s role is overrated is beyond me. Look anywhere in the world and you will see that the party presidents post is one of paramount importance, just across the border in India, both the Congress and BJP are having a tough time projecting an acceptable candidate for the PMs post in 2014, this itself should tell us how important the leader of a party is.

      Another example is the USA, see how hard fought a battle it was to even be nominated by one’s own party as it’s presidential candidate, meaning they needed a leader who they saw as the parties best hope of winning the elections for them.

  4. And closer to home, ask DNT why they wanted Dasho Chewang Rinzin as their president, it is because they wanted a strong candidate as their leader, the fact that he declined is altogether another matter.

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