New political party: 27 candidates confirmed, 13 rejected

Puran Gurung/ Thimphu A new political party, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa, is being formed to contest in the 2023 general elections, according to an insider from the new party. The source who spoke to The Journalist on the condition of anonymity said that Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa has already managed to rope in 27 candidates from diverse backgrounds including several who have participated in the past political elections. The party is currently knocking on the doors of many other potential candidates in its bid to present a political entity which provides a strong and credible alternative to the Bhutanese voters come the 2023 elections. According to the source, the pressure is also mounting on the emerging party to present itself to the Bhutanese public at the earliest possible because the “time is limited”. Many of the candidates who have already decided to join come from senior positions in the civil service, the corporate sector and other sections of the society. The party apparently has six candidates who have Phd. (doctorate) by way of educational qualification besides senior level consultants working with the government and international agencies sand a handful of former corporate and institutional heads. The candidate selection norms and procedures the party has put in place, according to the source, are strict and demanding. “People can expect some good candidates representing the party,” the source said. Besides, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa can accept a candidate only if he/she is approved by a certain number of people in the constituency. This excludes serving political and local government leaders. So far, 13 candidates have been rejected. The aspiring candidate must prove to the party’s executive committee that they are well-supported by the voters in their constituencies. Although Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa has roughly two years to prepare before the 2023 elections, the source said most candidates will not require extensive familiarization or preparation as they come with good qualification, high level working experiences and sound knowledge on Bhutan’s political processes. The party reportedly is targeting vote banks in eastern and southern Bhutan to have a realistic chance of winning the 2023 elections.