The Bhutan Kuen-Ngyam Party (BKP) which forayed onto the political bandwagon last week has engaged informal discussions with the Election Commission of Bhutan, to ensure its registration as a legitimate political party.
Although, the party claims to a have a sizeable number of candidates, registration will only come at an appropriate time and when the BKP is thoroughly prepared.
“The party is here to offer minimal expectations. Thus the progress in the formation of the party has been slow despite its ground work since 2009. Nevertheless the party formation is real,” said the party’s Spokesperson, Sonam Tobgay.
While, works on the party commenced only from the later part of2009, Sonam Tobgay said the party members took initiatives as a moral obligation, and dutiful responsibility in terms of further strengthening the democratization process on institution.
He said the party was committed toward public service through political office and therefore the party was working on further strengthening the team by inviting people who were genuinely committed, motivated, and inspirational to the cause of nation building.
“The party also takes as a sacred responsibility in the service of Tsa-Wa-Sum, the initiative is close to our hearts, and we are all driven by a collective compassionate responsibility,” said the Spokesperson.
The Spokesperson said that in terms of constituting good, capable, and committed members, they were all willing to make sacrifices, for instance like family, personal space, time and opportunity cost amongst others.
“It is about making sacrifices rather than expectation,” said Sonam Tobgay.
The BKP makes their stand clear that the members do not see politics as a profession nor as a livelihood, but, rather a selfless duty to the nation.
However, Sonam Tobgay said this was far easier said than done, but at the same time not unachievable given its size and number.
In an effort to strike a fresh stance, whilst distinguishing itself from others through inter alia, the BKP has put forth interesting policies and principles.
The principles and policies is the first on agenda that the party is working on.
The party is has contemplated inclusion of such clauses as: “Accept a halving of salaries for politicians for the first term and allow the Pay Commission to review all issues related to salaries across all sectors and levels of society.”
“This will be impractical and unrealistic but we will have to lead by example,” said Sonam Tobgay.
Other policies will be to provide an effective voice for the laymen in parliament without fear or favor, to enhance channels for public participation and feedback to encourage fresh and diverse ideas, and to build a broad consensus on key national issues.
There will also be an inclusion to review and consolidate civil service emoluments and other negative impacts associated with vehicle quotas, to explore the scope for a home ownership scheme for civil servants.
All this will be in addition to encourage youth to pursue causes they believe in and take initiative to build a green and sustainable society, and poverty eradication and improving the well being of rural folks and urban poor.
The party has called the proportion of youth unemployed (9.2%)in Bhutan as a “time bomb.”
“It is a “time bomb” and we need to diffuse it. Many young people have strayed and followed the wrong path like forming gangs and getting into substance abuse. If this carries on, we won’t be able to reform them or reform the country,” said the party Spokesperson, Sonam Tobgay.
Even though there are agencies like the Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency, RBP, the health and education ministries working towards preventive measures, the BKP feels that economic reforms can bring about good changes.
The party’s press release states that job creation was an important task that sat high on the party’s priority list, especially for the youth.
Sonam Tobgay said that the party will also champion broad-based and regionally balanced economic development and growth, reinforce social development through equal opportunities to avoid exclusion, and overcome socially divisive disparities. All this, while respecting diversity as part of the enabling environment for socioeconomic development.
The spokesperson said, this will improve the living conditions of the Bhutanese in general, not particularly any groups, or individuals.
However, the party states that it needs capacity from the ground up and that the economic reform must not engender greater inequalities and breed corruption, nor should it bring more privilege to those already privileged. Meanwhile, gender will also be given equal priority by the party.