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.

I was late and when I barged in, I saw that the DCT candidate was already on the podium. She claimed to be a 2010 graduate with not much experience to be boastful about. As she stood there, quite beautiful and innocent and looking barely more than a teenager, stuttering her speech on and about, I sat thinking what on earth was she thinking climbing up a podium like that when she could be dating some handsome man, dreaming about him and making plans for the future along with getting a nice, stable job. But while she went on and on, my inner voice kept singing Mustang Sally for some odd reasons. I told my inner voice to shut the heck up because quite honestly, who knows she could get somewhere someday with the kind of opportunity thrown at her…except that now doesn’t seem like the right time. But of course, that is just my thought.

When she was done and Dr. Lotay stood up for his turn to speak, I could see him bow and swagger to the podium with such great ease as if the whole act has been rehearsed a million times that there was no way for any mistake. He had never seemed more impressive than he did then that I began to wonder if all his previous appearances on the telly had been a preparation to make himself a public figure so that one day when he actually went on to be a public figure, he would not need an introduction and also one could see from his way of speaking that all his previous appearances had done him a great deal of good. He spoke with such clarity and fluidity that I hoped losing the contest if he did, would not affect the immense confidence he exhibited. He said that he would always be a doctor but this is his calling to do greater good by serving the nation..mainly by improving the health facilities around the country. He added that he feared the 2008 election decisions and results are a grave mistake and if I got it correctly, he said it is because of the unbalanced number of seats for the ruling government and the opposition party. He also talked about Rupee Crisis that has left many standing structures and pending works due to rupee unavailability and teacher empowerment etc. He pointed out that the last five years of opportunity to serve the people were neglected, pointing out that a change of ruling party is quite necessary.

Although a woman from behind me muttered that Dr. Lotay should better serve as a doctor than a politician, his talk received a good amount of applause.

Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba took the next turn and sounded much more gentler than the DNT candidate. He said that corruption in a small country is a rising concern, tainting our rather colgate image. He talked about the country’s debt and rupee crisis but that it should not be a concern because according to him, it should be resolved soon. He admitted that Gyelposhing case was a mistake but it had happened about a dozen years ago, with laws that were enacted then and not while DPT’s ruling period. I found his one statement particularly interesting “Gu dhi Gyelposhing ley tshu, ju dhi gatey ley dhu ni mo la?” and that if all cases of mishandling and corruptions were to be excavated, it would be only erupt into chaos. I believe this statement may divide people into two kinds – one who would believe him – wash when you reach your destination and the other kind who would believe in cleaning dirt from head to toe before setting out on a journey. He pointed out that so many promises are made by the contesting candidates, yet either the promises are false or few have the ability to fulfill them. I find that rather ironic given that so many promises were made in 2008 too and admittedly, he couldn’t fulfill every one of them – valid reasons or not.

Finally it was PDP’s Tandin Wangmo on the podium. As she stood up and bowed about like a Cinderella, I heard someone say “Daben Ta Kaap gi Aum dhi immey marey!”. She began gently but her voice seemed to crescendo as she went on, seemingly very involved in what she believed in. She said she believed in people’s right to information without fear or fervour and every citizen’s involvement in democracy for its health and vibrancy. She retaliated Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba’s claims that Rupee Crisis and debts are not worrisome because no one outside the previous ruling government knows about the exact terms of agreements on debts. She said as fathers to sons, debt repayments will fall from government to citizens and that is why such issues are a great cause for concern. According to her, within the last five years of DPT as the ruling government, the country has emerged from a debt free nation to a hugely indebted country.. She also reiterated YZ that corruption is another great concern for a country tagged with happiness.

She said that PDP pledges transparency and right to information and elaborated on PDP’s principle of Wangtse Chirpel, devolving power to the people which I think is rather interesting.

I believe Dr. Lotay and Tandin Wangmo both have huge potential in them while Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba has years of experience to give credit to. Dr. Lotay and Tandin Wangmo seemed all barreled with confidence and authority and are equally deserving. While Dr. Lotay has a title and name, and perhaps a social circle to bet on, Tandin Wangmo has the valor to be front lining her gender in Bhutanese politics where many of us fear to tread. Although several women have now joined the political scene, very few seem to have it in them to be a politician but Tandin Wangmo is clearly a political prowess in making.

Where DCT is concerned, I think Simon Cowell would have said that she was very forgettable. Ouch!

P.S - The event will be aired today at 7 PM on BBS.
4 Responses
  1. Agreed every word you wrote after watching the show. It has be by far the best debate on BBS so far. I missed DCT lady talk though.

  2. Kinga Choden Says:

    @Passing, you haven't lost anything by missing that part of the talk :)

  3. Manos Tenzin Says:

    We cant expect a hyena to lead a pack of dogs , Zangley have been clueless i hope PDP and Dnt to forms a joint Govt with Dr Lotey as MoH, i have 9 votes for DNT

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Manos, DNT and PDP forming a joint government is an impossibility because our laws permit only one political party each to form the government and the opposition.

    If you do not want your 9 votes to go to waste, caste them in favor of either DPT or the PDP because rumor is that Dr. Lotey has antagonized the voters with his attitude and some words he used during his speech in the common forum. As a consequence, even if the DNT should make it to the General round, Dr. Lotey isn't going to head the HoH since people have now realized that he is not the person they all thought him to be and so most of the voters under South Thimphu constituency have decided that he they are not going to vote him in.

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