With the Poll Day of the Primary Round of the 4th National Assembly Elections just a few days away, on 30 November 2023, many citizens have their hopes and expectations up for a brighter future.
With various issues at stake, ranging from economic recovery to social welfare one of the key topics dominating conversations is the need for positive change. Many citizens express their desire for a government that prioritizes the well-being of the people and addresses pressing issues effectively. With the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, economic recovery has emerged as crucial concerns for voters.
In addition to these pressing matters, citizens are also keen on seeing progress in areas, such as education, infrastructure development, and environmental sustainability.
Furthermore, citizens emphasize the importance of transparency and accountability in the electoral process. They expect candidates to engage in fair and ethical campaigning, providing clear information about their backgrounds, qualifications, and policy positions. Voters are looking for candidates who demonstrate integrity and a genuine commitment to serving the public interest.
Jigme Namgyal from Radhi-Sagteng, Trashigang shared that he has seen and experienced the past three elected governments, and can now cast his vote decisively.
He said, “I have seen and experienced 3 elected governments from 2008 to 2023 and now, I know whom to give my one vote to.”
He also said that his vote would go to a particular party having certain qualities.
“My vote will go to a particular party who has a party president with track record of patriotism, sincerity, integrity and putting national interest as a top priority; no favoritism, no red tapism and no party-oriented interest while governing the country,” he said.
Further he added, “Also, someone being humble and approachable, having firmness and a long term visionary lense. We need a leader, today, who can take our nation to the next higher-level aligning with His Majesty’s visions. The party needs to have realistic pledges that are doable, and will create a positive impact and conducive working environments for public servants.”
Jigme Namgyal has already done his homework, and he is confident that the other voters would have also done their homework and cast their votes.
“A good political party for governing a nation should demonstrate transparency, inclusivity, responsiveness to citizens’ needs, a commitment to the rule of law, effective communication, and a clear vision for the country’s development,” he said, and also added, “A focus on promoting social justice, economic stability, and environmental sustainability is essential for comprehensive governance.”
Phuntso Choden from the South Thimphu constituency also had similar reasons for wanting to vote.
She said, “I would vote for a particular party who emphasizes on the importance of public consultation in the decision-making process. A party whose pledges are based on the current state of the nation, and overall, the candidate’s capability.”
A voter from Panbang constituency, Rinchen Tshering, shared that he would vote for the party with an honest party president and good manifesto.
Rinchen said, “A mission statement defining the organization’s goals, its objectives, and how it will reach these objectives and a vision statement indicating where the organization aspires to go.”
He said the farmers and rural people hold different views from him but the one point all voters can agree on is that the party president has to be trustworthy.
“The party president should have a sense of honesty where people can trust his words,” he added.
Further, he mentioned that he would evaluate the parties based on the history of the party presidents and the candidates.
He said, “History speaks more about the person. People change when they need, but history is a tool.”
Guru Dhimal, 25, from Samtse, Tading, shared that in rural areas, they have to depend mostly on agriculture for their livelihood, and so he would cast his vote for a party that can bring better development in areas related to it.
He said, “Wild animals are making our lives very hard. Though we have been provided with electric fencing, it is not helping much. We and our crops need protection and solutions. To boost our local economy in various ways, we need cooling machines to preserve local vegetable and dairy products, which will immensely benefit us.”
Guman Biswa from Takothang gewog said, “Everyone is highly qualified and it looks promising when we had the meeting with the candidates last time. However, I will vote for the one who will bring development in the chiwog and gewog, and also the party that will benefit the public in providing basic amenities.”
Nar Bdr Gurung from Tendu gewog shared, “We are very backward, so I am looking forward to vote for the party that will bring better road conditions and health services.”
“Parties need to make proposals for agricultural support, rural infrastructure development, job creation, and access to basic services, like healthcare and education. The need to bring social welfare programs, such as poverty alleviation, healthcare accessibility, and social security measures. Improving road networks, access to electricity and internet connectivity are important,” he said.