PDP’s problem of plenty in choosing ministerial candidates

PDP says 5 ministers from the east, minimum two from the south and the rest from central and western Bhutan

The PDP president Tshering Tobgay, during his campaign in the east, announced Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong’s Norbu Wangchuk as the latest probable ministerial candidate.

This makes Norbu Wangchuk the third ministerial candidate from eastern Bhutan after Mongar’s Jigme Zangpo and Yeshey Dorji from Lhuentse.

The president said, “We will have five ministers from the east, a minimum of two from the south and the remaining from central and western Bhutan.”  The Prime Minister, 10 ministers and a Speaker leads to 12 posts in the ministerial rank.

When asked about allegations that PDP did not have enough ministerial candidates, the former Opposition Leader said, “We have more than enough     qualified, capable, committed and experienced candidates. If you go through the list of 47 candidates carefully more than half will be able to carry portfolios, and they will be able to contribute even more due to a strong civil service that provides continuity.”

The PDP president, apart from the three known names, however, declined to name the other ministerial candidates. The PDP party as a whole also maintained a tight lipped silence on future ministerial candidates.

This paper learnt from a reliable source in PDP, on the condition of anonymity, that PDP’s problem if elected in 2013 was not one of shortage, but an excess of potential ministerial candidates. This was one of the reasons why PDP did not want to publicize all names.

In eastern Bhutan, apart from the three confirmed names mentioned, others being talked about are Dorji Choden as a strong name from Thrimshing, Mingbo Dukpa from Dewathang-Gomdar constituency, Kinley Dorji from Radhi-Sakteng and Tashi Norbu from Khar-Yourung constituency.

In southern Bhutan, the potential names of ministerial candidates are from Samtse, Dagana and Tsirang.

These are Rinzin Dorje from Shompungkha in Sarpang, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo from Lahmoidzingkha-Tashiding in Dagana, Yogesh Tamang from Kilkorthang-Mendrelgang in Tsirang, Ritu Raj Chhetri from Taschichoeling and D.N Dhungyel from Phuentshogperi –Samtse both in Samtse.

From central Bhutan there are a host of probable names. These are Leki Dorji from Bardo-Trong in Zhemgang, Kaentso Sumpai Dhendup from Nubji-Tangsibji, and Namgay Dorji from Draagteng-Langthil both in Trongsa.

From western Bhutan, the probable names are DPT president Tshering Tobgay, Kahtoed-Laya’s Damchoe Dorji, South Thimphu candidate Tandin Wangmo, Kabji-Talo’s Dophu Dukpa in Punakha and Dawa Gyaltshen from Bongo-Chapcha in Chukha.

The source explained that keeping multiple options would be necessary since all 47 candidates from PDP would not be elected, and so, if some ministerial candidates did not make it through there would be enough candidates to replace them. The source said that each of the probable ministerial candidates mentioned have high level of qualification and extensive and credible work experience in an array of fields.

Also in case of candidates not being elected at all or in a very low number from a region then the ministerial candidates would have to be given to other regions. For example, if some ministerial candidates in the east could not make it then other strong candidates from the south, central or west would have to be considered and vice-versa.

The source said that for the ministerial candidates some probable portfolios would also be proposed as per PDP’s manifesto.

The source said that PDP’s cabinet would have at least one or two women ministers.

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