The events showcased in the parties campaigning up until now, in the 2013 elections has been characterized by much drama and explosion of emotions between party candidates and their respective ‘fearless leaders.’
From what was witnessed thus far, the candidates have, instead of making promises and pledges, continued to use the common forums as a battleground to pull at each other. And the only thing short of a full-on display of a battle scene is that the accusation-spewing, allegation-brewing are done verbally, and not using weapons or fist to cause physical harm.
A safe summation would be that this election has been all about ‘a war of words’ between the People Democratic Party (PDP) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT).
As the formidable leaders of respective packs that that have more than sufficiently proved their aggressiveness, the party presidents have not failed to match up to the candidates this in war of words.
Travelling across the country, the party presidents are busy showering words against each other and the parties.
The DPT president is currently in the east to speak about foreign relations to the people of Mongar.
DPT president Jigmi Y Thinley told the people to reflect on what the former Opposition Leader (OL) and president of the PDP had said about countries with which Bhutan established diplomatic ties.
As posted on the DPT page on Facebook, the status read, “On national television the PDP President said that Bhutan was making relations with small countries which had no economic or other strengths. What does it say about the character of the person saying so,” Jigmi Y Thinley had asked the people.
The post highlighted that diplomatic relations are important notwithstanding a country’s economic or military strength and only selfish people looking for personal gains will try to befriend those with power and neglect the deprived ones. It also read that it was difficult to imagine how someone like the former OL could make such a statement.
“In the first place, it is wrong to distinguish people at the individual levels based on their wealth or strength. Here, he is talking about countries,” the DPT president said.
On the other hand, the post on the PDP page on Facebook page in June reads that with the Election Day drawing near, DPT has been telling voters that if they do not elect them, then development will not reach the constituencies that voted out DPT. This ‘Campaign of Threats is not a singular incident.’
From Phuentsholing to Haa, the candidates and now in Trongsa by the president himself, the same threat is repeated hat if you vote for ‘them’ you will be in dark for rest of the five years.
There are many such incidents whereby both the presidents are engaged in an all out battle of words, although no heated exchanges have been witnessed face-to-face.
While most of the DPT candidates are mocking the pledges of the PDP, on the other hand the PDP sides are busy highlighting failures of the DPT.
The common forum is becoming more entertaining by the day for the viewers to watch the two candidates debate each other on the pledges, failure, etc.
The viewers and observers say that they are not entirely happy with the way the campaigns are progressing, and that they are full of drama and it’s getting uglier by the day.
A civil servant said, “Day by day, when I watch the debates, it looks like both parties are competing to achieve the worst demonstration of political mudslinging, and I find no substance in their speeches. Why can’t they just focus on their pledges instead of pointing fingers at each other?”
A businessman based in the capital said that if you visit the Facebook pages of the two parties, one can see allegations thrown against each other instead of updates on general party progress on campaigns and other political events.
“It’s just the second term of democracy in Bhutan, and this is what we see, one can imagine what the state of affairs might be in the next elections,” said a 28-year-old private employee Tshewang.
In public opinion, the male candidates have all been at what is presumed to be their fiercest best, but among the women candidates DPT’s Karma Lhamo, and PDP’s Kezang Wangmo, Sangay Tshoki and Tandin Wangmo have latched onto their fiery avatars as well.
Chencho Dema/ Thimphu