Party presidents try to best each other

Spectators and party supporters seated at the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) auditorium, and the audience glued on to BBS TV and radio, witnessed the clash of the old and new titans during the first presidential public debate. The audience was treated to rib-tickling wisecracks and one-liners, which created an atmosphere for laughter and an awkward silence at the same time.

Using the first presidential public debate to stimulate their own candidacy, the presidents of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT), and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) blamed the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) president and his government in failing to lead the country out of the deep economic downturn.

During the live telecast of the presidential public debate, the party presidents of PDP, DCT and DNT set out on making good impressions, and to convince the nation of their respective party ideologies, and measures to solve the problems that the DPT was unable to solve.

Many viewers felt the first presidential debate between the four parties was impressive, and some of the viewers thought the presidents of PDP, DCT and DNT have surprisingly outshone the DPT president- a ‘master politician’, although he did equally corner each of the party presidents during the course of the debate.

The Wednesday evening debate saw in attendance, the members of political parties and their supporters from across the country. There were also businessmen, former ministers, students, and media persons in the auditorium. The debate was broadcast live on TV and radio for the nation to observe.

“So much has been said and written about JYT’s oratorical prowess, but I think he met his match in the brilliant PDP Tshering Tobgay yesterday at the 2013 Prime Ministerial Debate in RTC,” said a former newspaper editor and an independent political analyst, Kencho Wangdi. “He clearly outshone him in nearly every department. Taken together with the fantastic performances of the two women party Presidents, JYT’s myth took a lethal hit yesterday. But that’s just my humble opinion.”

There also appeared to be a difference on what the presidents were allowed to state at the debate, which was highlighted by the PDP president who said the debate was supposed to be on the party ideology, as per the directives from Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

The moderator of the debate, Dawa of BBS informed the crowd at the beginning that the debate will be on party ideologies.

On being asked to comment on his observation regarding the accuracy and presentation of the different party ideologies by the presidents of the four parties, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of ECB Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said, the electorate is well aware of the objectives and ground rules. “I think it is up to our people to make the judgment and decide,” he said.

The speakers were lined up in alphabetical order. Lily Wangchhuk spoke on the reasons why she joined politics, and said her party’s ideology is focused on taking happiness and prosperity to the grassroots while addressing youth issues at the same time. She said about 50% of the DCT candidates are young, who have struggled in life, and can understand the hardships better than anyone else.

Pausing at certain lines, Dorji Choden spoke of poverty and harsh conditions in the rural corners of the country, and how her party places the high importance on alleviating the inequality and struggles endured by simple citizens. She said her party is devoted towards bestowing an absolute power to the people, and will eliminate the fear and intimidation felt by a majority of people in the society due to inequality.

She also emphasized on the importance of the Indo-Bhutan friendship, which her party will protect and further strengthen.

Jigmi Y Thinley went on straight to talk about what the DPT would do if was elected to office again. He also stated the achievement gained under the DPT government, which was a reiteration of the last State of the Nation Report to the previous Parliament.

The PDP president in his opening statement reminded the other party presidents that the debate is not about party pledges, but rather about party ideologies. He provided a brief history of his party and its slogan to decentralize power to the people.

During the Q&A session of the debate, all four party presidents pitched questions to one another on a range of issues, sparking off a heated debate between the party presidents. While Lily Wangchhuk stood her ground, the DPT and PDP presidents exchanged words loaded with seriousness, humor at times and some stinging sarcasm thrown in as well.

DPT used statistics and figures to show increases in growth like tourism, and decrease in problems like poverty, however, the presidents of DCT and PDP stated otherwise.

The DCT president said the rural and youth populace still struggle and face a lot of hardship. She said one reason can be due to some of the incumbent leaders who have served in their ministerial posts for over 15 years, enjoying a high living standard, and having failed to connect and understand the core issues faced at the grassroots. She said the unemployment problem, which the government claims to have reduced seems to be untrue as thousands of youth are unemployed.

The DNT president Dorji Choden asked a question to the PDP president on what might his suggestions be on how DNT should handle the affairs of state if elected to office. In response he urged DNT to prioritize solving the Rupee Crisis, and to strengthen the economy and nation so that future generations do not have to suffer.

The PDP president also thanked various institutions like, the Bhutan Power Corporation, Bhutan Telecom, and Tashi Cell for their contributions in rural development. Points were also raised on the quality of farm roads in the dzongkhags. PDP urged DNT to take a serious look into the matter should the DNT be elected to form the government.

 

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9 comments

  1. DNT, PDP, and DCT blames the DPT becos they afraid of their quality. They try to win votes frm we people by blaming the DPT but instead they encourage us to vote for DPT. As saying’s goes lazy man blames the the tool so the party workers have started blaming the DPT. ha ha ha h no vote goes to DCT and PDP. Lets rock our country by DNT and DPT

  2. DNT and DCT sure knockout by the end of this month. HA HA HA. Just wait and watch.

  3. DPT’s claim that Gyelpoizhing scam happened many years before democracy does not erase the fact that the main perpetrator of the crimes was appointed National Assembly Speaker in its Government and that he may, in fact have got to occupy the high chair because many senior leaders of the party, including the President of the party, were beneficiaries as well as accomplices?  The President of DPT also tried to wash his hands off the irony in the harsh punishment meted out to many ordinary citizens in connection with the law against tobacco by saying that it was the legal system which convicted them.  But the fact is that it was his government that had the major responsibility in passing such a stupid law.  I wonder how many powerful people were quietly let off for violating the same law while all the convicts of this law – surprise of surprises, are invariably ordinary folks without any connections!  

  4. Former Lyonchen Jigmi Y Thinley suddenly is wooing the important vote bank of the civil service.  He wants to revise their thopthang and did he say, revisit the rules and regulations?  Perhaps he could be reminded that it was his brother-in-law who is responsible for creating all the mess in the RCSC in the first place…and who was subsequently handsomely rewarded by him with a kushy post as Kutshab in Bangladesh.

  5. Quote the Bhutanese “Many viewers felt the first presidential debate between the four parties was impressive, and some of the viewers thought the presidents of PDP, DCT and DNT have surprisingly outshone the DPT president- a ‘master politician’.” unquote

    My personal view was that the PM made the other 3 Presidents look like school boys, as for OL, if you consider his rudeness and sarcasm as being great, what can say of this paper . Haha, agree with your views completely.

  6. At present if there is anyone who can stand up and see eyeball to eyeball with DPT president and former PM is PDP president Tshering Tobgay. Others are too afraid to say no or offend the ex-PM including his ex-ministers.
    JYT has finally found a equal match in Tshering Tobgay and i am sure people would have noticed it.
    We don’t have shortage of capable and charismatic leadership in Bhutan. I think majority of people feel that the present set of leaders are only option for Bhutan and without them Bhutan will fall.
    Lets see what people decide in July election

  7. Lyonchhen can speak in many languages. he spoke in broken sharchop with mongar people to cover for gyelposhing scam. NC candidates were not allowed to campaign in Nepali. what kind of electoral rules?

  8. Am Lily and Am Dorji were trying to prove their respective parties as the humblest as if people were going to vote for the most humble party. Tshering Tobgay could not hide his arrogance and rudeness that he is always used to in the assembly hall. He said that he will decentralize the power to the local government. But, in doing so he is going to take away the power of financial banks and BOD corporations because his government will open banks and BOD centers in each geog. He said he always abides by the constitution. But he breached the constitution by accepting one of the candidates before resigning from RCSC.

  9. Heart core DPT

    PDP is all about “nang thrug”…If PDP gets elected…it will bring chaos instead of development. All over the common forums and debates…the way they talk sounds of creating choas in society. It will definitely bring disharmony in the society. I predict…Its better to vote for DCT than PDP. 

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