People from various sections of the society have started questioning the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) 15 points grievances, particularly on their claims on the ‘misuse of Palace’s name and Royal Prerogative.’
One such section consisting of around eight people approached The Bhutanese office saying that they had come to condemn the DPT’s YDF meet where all kinds of defamatory allegations had been made against the palace.
Following a defeat against former Opposition, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who stormed the National Assembly elections by winning 32 seats of the total 47 seats, DPT on July 19 at the party’s general convention held at Youth Development Fund (YDF) hall came up with a 15 points petition, which was further submitted to His Majesty the King after discussions within the party.
The ‘15 points’ cover allegations on corruption, divisive politics, coalition formation parties, foreign policy, involvement of interim government, serious doubts in postal ballots, politicizing of armed forces, politicizing of local government officials, involvement of non-government organizations (NGO), defaming and misuse of Palace’s name, using of Royal Prerogatives by PDP , non-participation in debates, free transport and food, among others.
“Such examples displayed by the DPT leadership mislead the country towards a risky path,”a private employee from Goenshari in Punakha, Sangay Penjor said, hinting at the remarks made with reference to the Palace by DPT supporters.
He mentioned that such instances must be brought to an end from the beginning. “I feel deeply sorry about the statement made by the DPT supporters. I urge the former DPT ministers not to support or promote such statements, especially when the party has experienced members who have been in ministerial offices for more than a decade, and are well-versed with the laws of the land.”
“It does not matter whoever wins, but it is a huge alarm when a party politicizes the King,” Tshering Dorji, a shopkeeper residing in capital city, raised his concern.
He said politicizing the throne cannot and must not be allowed in the country.
“People are worried and surprised when such accusations were made,” he added. He was one among many people who said it further saddened them when DPT representatives decided to submit the petition to His Majesty hoping for a consideration.
Farmer Pema Dorji from Punakha said, “Whoever wins the election will be of benefit to the people and the country.” He also emphasized on peace, sovereignty, and security in the kingdom, achieved under the reign of the sacred Monarchs. “Democracy was a gift from our Monarch whose wish was to decentralize power to the people of Bhutan,” he said.
“Our Kings have made immense sacrifices for the people of this nation to be happy”, he said. “DPT’s statement against the Palace is an immoral one, and beyond anyone’s imagination,” he added.
Tshering, a farmer from Sarpang, commented on the bilateral relations between India and Bhutan. He highlighted the DPT supporters’ allegations that PDP was being supported by the King and Indian government. “We must ask such persons about who their King is,” he said.
Former Talo Gup, Tendrel Gyeltshen said that His Majesty had already addressed in the Parliament that that the first priority will be on taking personal care of the census and land issues.
He justified that His Majesty never addressed on being partisan or to forbid any party.
Reflecting on the 2008 elections, he said PDP managed to win only two seats, leaving the party supporters in a state of shock and grief. He said the party still accepted its responsibility as the Opposition and served the term with integrity.
“DPT complaining and defaming His Majesty’s is not good to hear”, he added.
Meantime, most people are looking forward to a valid clarification and explanation from DPT on the 15 points, mainly on the allegations and the defamation of the Palace.
There was also widespread condemnation on the social media with many changing their profile pictures to that of His Majesty the King.
A protest crowd of 1000-3000 people who planned to march to the DPT President’s house was called off after a Royal command.