Po­lit­i­cal year be­gins

Business Bhutan - - Editorial -

Like it or not, the po­lit­i­cal jostling for 2018 is well un­der­way. Po­lit­i­cal par­ties are set­ting out their pri­or­i­ties and po­si­tions, while also si­mul­ta­ne­ously declar­ing and an­nounc­ing new party can­di­dates as they gear up for the third par­lia­men­tary elec­tions this year. The Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP), for in­stance, is ac­tively us­ing its Face­book page; ad­vo­cat­ing its fol­low­ers on the im­por­tance of vot­ing, democ­racy and cor­rup­tion-free elec­tions. It has also been us­ing the same page to in­ter­mit­tently de­clare and in­tro­duce party’s can­di­dates to the pub­lic. The party has so far de­clared around 14 can­di­dates. Sim­i­larly, it must have been a well-de­served respite from a busy week for the Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) af­ter the party in a solemn cer­e­mony in Thim­phu in­tro­duced and handed out party tick­ets to 46 can­di­dates of the to­tal 47 early this month. Fur­ther, the party also had its pres­i­dent and vice-pres­i­dent elected a month ago in a grand gen­eral assem­bly in Thim­phu. DNT has al­ready started pol­i­tick­ing with its slo­gan of ‘Nar­row­ing the Gap!’. The Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT) has also been busy on the po­lit­i­cal front. The party wel­comed the pres­i­dent of Druk Chir­wang Tshogpa (DCT) and some of in­ter­ested can­di­dates to join them fol­low­ing dereg­is­tra­tion of DCT as a po­lit­i­cal party. It has also been field­ing new can­di­dates, who would rep­re­sent the party in the up­com­ing elec­tions. Sim­i­larly, the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) is there in the race too. Af­ter launch­ing two sets of can­di­dates, com­pris­ing seven can­di­dates each in a set, the party launched an­other three new can­di­dates last week. While the party is in­tro­duc­ing some new can­di­dates, some serv­ing MPs are also be­ing re­placed. The PDP pres­i­dent was also seen last week rep­ri­mand­ing the re­placed MPs not to speak against the party and party in­ter­est on so­cial me­dia and other plat­forms. Un­doubt­edly, pol­i­tick­ing has be­gun and good po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments are hap­pen­ing, at least for now. This is go­ing by the con­duct of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties presently. But for how long will they con­tinue main­tain­ing the same would be some­thing to see as we head to the main event. If past trends are any in­di­ca­tion, we have been ob­servers to how ugly, petty and dirty pol­i­tics can get as the fight among po­lit­i­cal par­ties for power in­ten­si­fies. We have seen di­vi­sive pol­i­tics tear­ing apart fam­i­lies, friends, neigh­bors and com­mu­ni­ties. In or­der to fa­vor a po­lit­i­cal party’s vested in­ter­est, we have also been ob­servers to un­healthy po­lit­i­cal trends such as neg­a­tive cam­paigns that par­ties re­sort to so as to tar­nish the im­age of an­other as­pir­ing can­di­date or an­other po­lit­i­cal party. Such do­ings, how­ever, must not be ex­pected out of our po­lit­i­cal par­ties. They have an im­por­tant role in build­ing up the na­tion’s demo­cratic cul­ture. They must re­mem­ber their im­por­tant role in earn­ing and main­tain­ing the faith of Bhutanese elec­torates in politi­cians and democ­racy.

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