I remember the first Presidential debate that was held at RTC whereby somebody from the audience asked the candidates whether they would prove the rumors right by forming alliances, possibly after the primary election round to which all the four party Presidents waived it away saying such rumors are unheard of as far as they are concerned and that they have no such intention. By alliances, I believe, it could mean replacing weak candidates from winning parties by strong candidates from parties that may lose, unless ECB has rules, at which I am no expert, disallowing such activities. It may also mean the losing party agreeing to pool in all their and their supporters’ votes for the party they have formed an alliance with.

My four year old daughter was the youngest audience at the final South-Thimphu Common Forum that took place at the YHS auditorium yesterday at 4 PM. She received a DNT pamphlet that Dr. Lotay who was dressed quite humbly in a dark grey gho and lugging a laptop bag was distributing yesterday. After all the commotion about non-attendance and subsequent press conferences from DPT, PDP and DNT, there was a huge turnout, probably more than a hundred of us.

I thought it would be quite similar to the previous forum that I attended but yesterday being a Sunday worked great to my advantage. I had nothing much to do anyway and boy was I glad that I dragged myself to attend the forum!! Dr. Lotay was the star of the previous forum but Tandin Wangmo simply bamboozled the audience yesterday when she spoke with such conviction.

A wise man I met a few days back said “I can’t believe that democracy is so embryonic in our country, yet it seems to have matured to such an extent that corruption is somewhat evident every place with some contesting candidates, established or not, executing hideous plans on a section of the ignorant lot in a bid to win their votes”. As Madam Zekom, an elderly woman from a far-flung village of two households in Punakha said, “Geykhab Nam Nam-mey marey daben”, people have metamorphosed from slackers to smart Alecks – all of that within the last five years.
Today, I took an hour’s leave and scooted off to observe the common forum for south thimphu constituency candidates. A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do afterall and I have got to vote in about two weeks’ time. But before I start wagging my tongue, let me make it clear that this piece of article is not intended to influence anyone’s voting inclination whatsoever or campaign on behalf of any candidate. I attended the event merely as a passive observer with a willingness to be blown into pieces by the most deserving candidate and also based on the fact I am a proud resident of this constituency and belief it is one of the most power packed constituency of the nation, with so many potential candidates - three fourth of whom are still reluctant to give up the comfort of their rotating chairs and join the battle on the political turf but when they do, possibly within the next few elections, this constituency will hail as the most interesting constituency.

This article was written for my good friend Borangdaza, the editor of Dharig magazine (now renamed to Gadget and available for sale in the market in Bhutan and India) and another travel magazine which will soon be out too :)
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