Gen­der not pri­or­ity for par­ties while nom­i­nat­ing can­di­date for min­is­te­rial post

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Chen­cho Dema from Thim­phu

Bhutan got its first fe­male min­is­ter in 2013 when the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) af­ter win­ning the 2013 elec­tions nom­i­nated its can­di­date from Thrimsh­ing-Kang­para con­stituency in Trashigang, Dorji Cho­den, as the works and hu­man set­tle­ment min­is­ter.

And with a to­tal of 18 fe­male can­di­dates con­test­ing this year’s pri­mary round of elec­tions as of Septem­ber 15, the num­ber be­ing re­duced to 10 as we head to the gen­eral round of elec­tions, will we have fe­male can­di­dates with min­is­te­rial port­fo­lios when one of the two par­ties forms the gov­ern­ment? This would un­ques­tion­ably be some­thing ex­cit­ing to look for­ward to, ac­cord­ing to po­lit­i­cal ob­servers.

Both po­lit­i­cal par­ties - Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT) – have five women can­di­dates con­test­ing in the gen­eral round of elec­tions this year.

Talk­ing to Busi­ness Bhutan, DNT pres­i­dent Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing said there are 100% fe­male can­di­dates ca­pa­ble of be­ing min­is­te­rial can­di­dates, but how many would de­pend on the win­ning and los­ing com­bi­na­tion.

“How many and who will be de­cided af­ter win­ning the elec­tion. Our rea­son for giv­ing min­is­te­rial-ship to women is based on ca­pa­bil­ity but not on gen­der. I don’t be­lieve in ap­point­ing a fe­male min­is­ter just be­cause she is a fe­male but it is sim­ply based on merit. The per­son who is more ca­pa­ble will get the min­is­te­rial port­fo­lio not by gen­der and I am not in fa­vor

of re­serv­ing quota for any­one,” he added.

The fe­male can­di­dates from DNT com­prise Dechen Wangmo from North Thim­phu con­stituency, Dil Maya Rai from Tashich­hoel­ing con­stituency in Samtse, Tshe­wang Lhamo from Bongo-Chapchha con­stituency in Ch­hukha, Yeshey Dem from Khamaed-Lu­nana con­stituency in Gasa, and Dor­jee Wangmo from Som­baykha con­stituency in Haa.

Mean­while, DPT fe­male can­di­dates com­prise Karma Lhamo from Mong­gar con­stituency in Mong­gar, Tsh­er­ing Cho­den from Khar–Yu­rung con­stituency in Pema­gat­shel, Norbu Wang­zom from NanongShu­mar con­stituency in Pema­gat­shel, Lily Wangchuk from NorthThim­phu con­stituency, and Lila Prad­han from Ugyentse-Yoe­seltse con­stituency in Samtse. Talk­ing to Busi­ness

Bhutan, DPT pres­i­dent Pema Gyamt­sho said giv­ing min­is­te­rial port­fo­lios to can­di­dates will de­pend on the pro­ce­dure that the party has de­vel­oped and ev­ery­one has equal chance and op­por­tu­nity. The fac­tors to de­ter­mine a can­di­date for the post of min­is­ter will be at­trib­uted to his/her merit, ex­pe­ri­ence, level of sup­port and com­pe­tence.

“All our fe­male can­di­dates have equal op­por­tu­nity and we have a stan­dard pro­ce­dure that we will fol­low. We are not in a po­si­tion to an­nounce any pref­er­ence for any par­tic­u­lar can­di­date. Even my own port­fo­lio, I can­not de­cide, it has to be de­cided by the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. I can­not de­cide on my own,” he said.

Fur­ther, the pres­i­dent said he had not promised any­one nor any can­di­date has asked for a min­is­te­rial post. “All our can­di­dates have come for­ward with­out ask­ing any con­di­tion,” he added.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to some vot­ers in Thim­phu, Lily Wangchuk is likely to be of­fered a min­is­te­rial port­fo­lio if DPT wins and forms the gov­ern­ment, while in the case of DNT it could be ei­ther Dil Maya Rai or Dechen Wangmo or both.

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