Premature campaigning for 2013 on in Punakha, say villagers


An interesting tale with an intricate plot and questionable motives is the campaigning that is going on reportedly in Punakha for the next round of elections prematurely.

While sources said that other constituencies too are facing the same situation, Punakha’s three would-be contestants are in really aggressive mode.

This is against the election commission rules which say that campaigning can take place only once the ruling government is dissolved and the parties are registered with the commission.

The first one as mentioned is National Assembly MP Namgay Wangchuk who has reportedly visited all five gewogs comprising 25 chiwogs in his constituency, Punakha.  Two other aspiring politicians are Rinzin Dorji an ex-DPT candidate who was disqualified in the 2008 elections and the Director of Royal Education Council (REC), Dr Sonam Wangyel Wang.

Rinzin Dorji is said to be vying for a seat in the National Council (NC).

“Maybe he thought he had more chances of becoming a National Council member than a National Assembly member because of several other competent candidates contesting for the upcoming elections,” said Dorji, a Punakha resident.

Interestingly, Namgay Wangchuk, from the same constituency who was promoted by Rinzin Dorji in the earlier general elections had promised the latter that he would help him during the next  round of elections, and the both are now working closely together, shared an aspiring politician who did not want to be named.

“These two aspiring politicians have already started meeting almost all the people of their constituency, working on their hidden agenda,” said a civil servant.

A villager who wanted to remain anonymous told The Bhutanese that politicking has already reached the villages.

Meanwhile, MP Namgay Wangchuk added that he is not at all disturbed that his opponents have started campaigning. Votes for 2013 elections will be solely decided by what was done so far for the people of his constituency, he said though he said he had heard about the two others on their roundabouts and is worried that this type of inappropriate timing will breach the constitution, RCSC, and election rules”.

But Namgay Wangchuk feels that he has “faith in the people of his constituency and he hopes that they will decide whom they want next”.

“Just as a compensation for what Rinzin Dorji went through especially during familiarization, the serving MPs all contributed 10% of their pay to him,” said one of the serving MPs of National Assembly. He also added that Rinzin Dorji was sent for further studies but a party ticket from DPT was not absolute surety.

Sources also told The Bhutanese that talks are going on in the village that there is something between two aspiring candidates , Rinzin Dorji and Dr Sonam Wangyel Wang, as they are helping one another – one choosing to contest for the NA and  the other for the NC.

Talking to Rinzin Dorji a month before, he said that he is into politics but he has not decided as of now and at present he is into business. He claimed he has not heard anything from MP Namgay Wangchuk.

A villager from Punakha confirmed that MP Namgay Wangchuk was seeking the villagers’ support in 2013.

He is planning to go back to his constituency to discuss on the balance left of the Constituency Development Grant (CDG) which stands at around Nu 0.9 Million.  Nu 7 million was spent on culture. preservation activities.

Commenting on the situation,  the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Bhutan, said, “It’s difficult to figure out whether they are campaigning or just interacting with the people and doing their ground works”.

But reports from the constituency say otherwise..

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  1. They need to resign before they can go for politics I guess.

  2. I dont know if its allowed but we have been told that one Dr. Sonam Wangyel is visiting villages and indirectly campaigning, by sponsoring Lhakhang consecration, recitation of Kanjur and stuffs like that in some of the villages.

  3. If ECB is not sure of themselves, I think all the aspiring candidates can go to their constituency and conduct campaign internally after taking leave from the office.

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