The Presidents of the five political parties wished the elected 20 National Council MPs including the 47 others that did not make it. While they congratulated the winners, they also took the time to thank the other candidates had played an important role during the election.
Some of the Party Presidents also laid out their vision of what more the NC can do in its second term.
All Party Presidents also confirmed to The Bhutanese that they voted in the NC elections.
Prime Minister and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) President, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley said, “Those who are elected and have won the confidence of the people will be very happy at the end of the day. Those who may not have fared well at the polls will have every reason to be satisfied as they offered themselves to the people, ready to serve and also gave the people an opportunity, and a choice.”
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) President, Dorji Choden talking to the paper moments before the results was out said, her thoughts were with the people of Bhutan, and she hoped they will make a proper choice of representatives, who will be efficient and represent a particular dzongkhag on important legal issue.
Dorji Choden said, “They are going to be the house of review for the long-term laws and Acts for the country, because laws are not short-term, and must be relevant for many years. We can’t have laws which are amended even before they are implemented.”
The DNT President also said that the new NC representatives should not limit themselves to just their role as the house of review, but to a keen interest in what happens in the Parliament, especially at how the laws are passed in the Parliament and how it impacts the lives of the people.
People’s Democratic Party’s Vice President, Damcho Dorji said, “For those who have won, the fact that they have come through it, has been a challenge, but the real challenge still lies ahead. The responsibility of NC grows with each term.”
Damcho Dorji also said, “For those who have participated, I would say they must be appreciated for giving the people the best choices. They should not be disheartened by the fact that they lost, as democracy is not about losing and winning, but about participation and taking on the roles entrusted to the people when the Fourth King gave us democracy.”
The PDP Vice President commenting on the role of the new house said, the first and foremost is legislation, but they should also keep an eye on every government policy.
He added, “I think NC must be more vigilant before every decision and policy of the government that affects people in so many ways. NC should also make recommendations to the government when necessary. NC should keep should keep an eye on the broader interest of the country and strengthen democracy.”
The Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party President, Sonam Tobgay, who had just finished voting in Gaselo said, “I think what is more important is coming out, and candidates should not be disheartened. What is also more important is that people have shown interest for the NC elections. I appreciate and applaud all 67 of them, but inevitably only 20 seats can be filled.”
He said the winning candidates must assume their responsibilities with the purest of intentions, to be able to lay down the strong foundations of a democracy, and those who have lost, can contest again after five years.
The BKP President said that since NC was the house of review, the age bar should have been higher at 30 years old. He also said that both the houses should work closely to cement a strong foundation for democracy.
Druk Chirwang Tshogpa President, Lily Wangchhuk said, “I would like to extend my warmest felicitations to the 20 NC members elected by the people. It is indeed, a historic moment as we have elected the second batch of NC members, who will play a critical role in taking democracy further.”
She said, as for those who could not make it, DCT would like to express a deep appreciation for their commitment in participating in the democratic process. “They have heeded the call of democracy, and offered the choices to the people to vote, which in itself is the greatest contribution on their part,” said Lily Wangchhuk.
The DCT President said, “Learning from the last term, we hope that the newly elected NC members will play a very effective role as the house of review.”
Tenzing Lamsang / Thimphu