PM meets the presidents of new parties

Lyonchhen with the Presidents of DCT, DNT and BKP
Lyonchhen with the Presidents of DCT, DNT and BKP(Photo Courtesy : Puran Gurung)

The Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley called on the three newly registered political parties yesterday which the party leaders said marked a ‘good precedence’. The party presidents in a press conference yesterday, said pressing issues such as date of general elections, state funding, convenient polling stations were discussed with the PM.

The meeting held in good faith was however devoid of the Opposition Party’s presence.

The President of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP), Sonam Tobgay said it was informal discussions and they would discuss this more officially at ECB’s level where there will be common agreement and understanding including both Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

A news release from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) stated “Lyonchhen formally welcomed the new parties. He congratulated the leaders and said their participation will contribute significantly to deepening democracy and complete an important process of democracy – the primary round of elections. Lyonchhen said that building a political party entails sacrifice and commitment, and conveyed his appreciation to them for having the will and the compassion to serve the people of Bhutan.”

The release also stated that the three new political parties thanked PM for a ‘harmonious interaction’.

Meanwhile, the party presidents said that the Lyonchhen will support early elections for higher voter turnout so that the general elections should not hamper the farmers or anybody else, and therefore the date of election will be in June rather than in July.

Issues raised during the meeting include, funding for political parties to stay afloat and the difficulty in getting candidates. Lyonchhen and the political parties agreed that this is the beginning of many more such meetings and to actively engage in national discourse.

As the opposition party was left out the new parties hope to sit down again with both the founding parties of the country.

The BKP president said in all justice to PDP, they will seek the opposition’s views and see how they can propose this journey toward the cause of nation building and high voter turnouts.

“I am happy to hear that the PM has met the three new political parties. My PDP colleagues and I have also met the new parties: we called on them to congratulate them and offer our best wishes when each of them received their ECB registrations. Some people have suggested that the PM purposely excluded PDP. I don’t know. If the meeting was called just to meet the new parties, then obviously PDP wouldn’t be invited,” said the Opposition Leader, Tshering Tobgay.

He further said that PDP was the first party to be registered. That said, he is not surprised that the PDP was excluded. “During the past five years and especially after the constitutional case, the government has gone out of its way to exclude the opposition party from taking part in government events,” he added.

Topping it, all the new political parties shared the common problem about stern laws of Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) and they pleaded the commission to be little lenient on such laws and let civil servants come back after participating in politics. They also attributed this problem to the rush for candidates. The parties said though not undermining the private sector,most of the experienced and intellectual ones were in  the Civil Service. The parties also pleaded for flexibility of RCSC laws and creating conducive environment.

“This will be a very arduous journey,” said the Lyonchhen, after the meeting.

The leaders of the three political parties thanked Lyonchhen for making time to meet them, and for having all the parties come together and engage in a ‘harmonious interaction’.

The release from the PMO stated that Lyonchhen and the three political parties committed themselves to conduct with sincere respect for each other and elevate politics in Bhutan. It also states that the PM urged the parties to work together toward a deeper objective of public service, and demonstrate to the world how cultured and refined Bhutanese politicians are.

“We must believe that all of us are equally committed and if we do believe that, we will be able to respect each other,” Lyonchhen said. “Of course, we will be different in approach or ideas but we will respectfully agree to differ.”

“This meeting with the PM has reinforced BKP’s belief that politics is a sacred duty. It has also made us work towards a healthy democracy and develop mutual interest,” said Sonam Tobgay, President of BKP. He also added that ‘for BKP, politics is beyond elections, we are not only motivated just to win but we will not deter even if we lose. Such meeting is very encouraging and motivating, all parties together has portrayed a good example to the world as well’.

On the other hand, President of Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT), Lily Wangchhuk said that the process of voting must be made easy by letting electorates vote from the ‘place of residence’. Such meetings will foster better understanding with political parties sitting together and it will set a good precedence. She also reiterated Lyonchhen, that “at the end of the day, irrespective of everything, everyone will serve the country.”

The president of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Dorji Choden said, “we all need to nurture together and think beyond the elections to serve the country.”

The hunt for candidates

The president of BKP argued that it is not an issue with DPT and rather an issue of national interest. He said good party politics and good democracy, needs good people—people with competence, experience and certain level of maturity—and all these, he said are in the civil service and few in the private sector as well.

DCT believes that it is not so much about political parties but a national concern as one wants the right people to be at the right places, obviously those people are in the civil service or higher positions in other corporate organizations, said Lily Wangchhuk.

She added there will be the need for some flexibility in the civil service laws and electoral laws. She believes democracy has been gifted to us and it makes one to have more reasons to make democracy work in our country. “To ensure the success of democracy, the environment has to be conducive, but as of now the environment is not so conducive for a lot of people to come out and adventure into politics,” she said.

“We are almost there in terms of numbers, whether they are the right people I am not sure, but we in terms of numbers we are very comfortable except for one or two constituencies where we still need to fill up,” said the DCT president.

“DNT has faced lot of challenges in filling up its last few positions,” said DNT president, Dorji Choden. “Looking for candidates was a challenge because when people look at the strength of the party, they immediately look at the capability of the candidate. And in terms of getting good candidates with qualification and experience and with good intention to serve, is a definite challenge.”

Puran Gurung / Thimphu


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  1. Last time, when Lyonchen proposed for early elections, many parties especially DCT opposed bitterly saying that it is done for DPT’s advantage. Now she changes her mind? I don’t understand. PDP also opposed that time, but the party may agree this time because PDP and the three new parties listen to each other. Regarding PDP’s exclusion, firstly it is not that :Lyonchen called for the meeting, but the three new parties called on the PM. So PDP should have joined them without having to be invited. However, even PDP was invited, OL would have sent his deputy to attend the meeting because OL has egoistic attitude that he must not meet and talk with PM. Anyway, that’s politics by nature and we understand very well.

  2. best of luck to all the parties. Be prepared to be a strong opposition.we want opposition who brings the solution to the problem that has been created by the ruling party. DPT will be the ruling party but we want opposition that is very strong. We people must know the role of opposition.

  3. Did OL invited DPT when he welcomed new political parties? It is wrong on OL’s and the its (not his because he doesn’t think like man) mouthpiece ‘The Bhutanese’ to expect DPT to invite them. May be OL expected cup of warm coffee lol.

    PM urged for early dissolution and new parties objected and criticised government. now they are worried about voter turn out. May be they should propose government to extend its term lol.

    State funding was opposed by ECB, new politicians wanna-be of time and newspaper especially The Bhutanese. Now those wanna-be politicians became politicians by forming new parties and they realized they have mistaken. That’s myopic vision. They can’t see things beyond politics.

    Turns out PM was right in both accounts. Funny Huh….all for worthless dins.

  4. New parties have started to demand for their benefits even before they are formally complete parties. They are officially registered but they are not complete because they do not have all the 47 candidates. If one of the parties win to form govt., we are finished, they will only debate about their benefits and Bhutan will become bankrupt, no Ruppee etc. etc..
    In view of this DPT should win! Whats your views on this very important issues?

  5. This clearly indicates how farsighted and visionary our PM is compared to other politicians. PM knew all these consequenses beforehand while the other party leaders realize at the last minute only. Well, which party will emerge as the opposition this time? Probably DNT. So we are going to have a female OL. Goodby Tshering Tobgay.

  6. JYT is now worried that if these people become PM in future he/she will open many case against him!! Very clever and cunning move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GNT will rule and PDP will become opposition party. They together will jail all corrupted DPT members and their relatives involved in corruption.
    JYT is one useless man-he can’t think good!! He is egoist, cunning, boastful, and above all the laughing stock of 2013 election!!! Long LIve my king,country,people and PDP. Hell with DPT

    • And you my friend, deserve to be awarded with a prize for the most idiotic post of the day. I am sure that you actually do not believe in what you yourself have written.

  7. I mean DNT

  8. @ Truth
    DNT members are all former PDP and they will fight among themselves over the votes. You have a real unused brain! DPT as usual will win landslide victory for 2013,2018 and always. So why don’t you join DPT. Our Lyonchen is very compassionate, he will definitely apologize you for defaming him and DPT.

  9. Laksam why you are worried about other parties….leave it to them whether they win or lose….after all you wont gain anything from DPT even if they wins.

    • A wise response and a true one. However, maybe he must be one of those who is currently benefiting from the corrupt DPT Pandavas.

  10. Mr. Pango, Losing and winning are charms of a game! DPT’s win will be DNT’s disappointment.

    • laksam is a guy who is being paid by dpt to write in this forum. He seemed gainfully employed by them. I am fed up with your narrow and biased view. we all know the potential of DPT now. DPT has not much to offer other than GNH which they themselves are not practising. Know who all are constructing the big big building in Thimphu? ever thought about? They have created many problems for the country and has shown bad example. But You always think dpt is the only good party which I am sure will be proved wrong this time by the people. Be humble when you are in the winning party or you will be alone on your way down. Be mindful of others when you write. Respect others view which is lacking in you and good.

  11. @wisdom I am neither gainfully employed by the DPT nor I am biased in posting my comments. I am just trying to ridicule those posters who are insulting and defaming our leaders be it politians, civil servants, constitutional post holders who are entrusted with huge responsibilities. You go through any of my post I have just tried to defuse others crticisms only. People should be mindful of themselves. Why write bad about others.See it for yourself.

  12. DPT will any way win for second term. No doubt about it. They are capable and right party to get next government. 100% sure about it. I bet anyone! It would be disgrace to have other four parties ruling. DNT will opposition with 10 members. PDP will have another landslide losing because they dont deserve!

    • Why worry at this juncture. We can wait till primary round is over then only can we throw some light as to which party will win to rule and which party to be in the opposition.

    • jacksparrow why is the proof of your 100% confidence? disgrace to have other parties? what is this bullshit man. what make you utter such desperate word. It looks like you are already worried and panicking about the outcome of the election. Prepare for win and defeat. that is the way it should be. we are now living in a democracy and we must show restrain in our thoughts, words and action. have mutual respect, learn to live with differences. Develop tolerance for it is the essence of democracy or you cannot live in society if you are not able to adapt to changing political situation. it is dpt today, it may other parties tomorrow.

  13. But we must make sure which parties should win in the primary round to have ruling and oposition parties!

  14. Why did many PDP politicians leave to form DNT? Because, these guys do not have clear principles and idiologies. If they lose this time, they will break from DNT and form another party with new principles in the next elections. How can we trust such guys? I believe in the Bhutanese proverb,”old demon is better than new god”. So, I don’t see the new parties doing better than DPt.

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