Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) has confirmed six more electoral candidates for the 2018 elections, bringing their total candidate figure to eleven, which includes the party president and vice-president.
The six new candidates are Pushpalal Chhetri, 51, Pirthiman Pradhan, 61, Karma Jimba, 52, Tshering Nidup, 49, Rinchen Chogyel, 38, and Karma Loday, 38.
The former deputy governor of Royal Monetary Authority, Pushpalal Chhetri, will represent the party in Tashiding-Lhomoizingkha constituency in Dagana. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Finance and Economic Policy, and he has served the civil service for 26 years. Recently, he worked as a consultant with the Asian Development Bank.
“Although our economic development is driven by the GNH philosophy, which is sustainable, however, there are many issues in the economy that we can easily tackle,” he said. “So far there is trade deficit in which we export less and import more, so in consultation with the pool of BKP team we can resolve this issue and become export oriented.”
Meanwhile, the former commissioner of Royal Civil Service Commission, Pirthiman Pradhan, will contest from Ugyentse-Yoeseltse constituency in Samtse. In a career spreading over 32 years, he worked as the managing director at Druk Seed Corporation, program director at RNR Research Center at Wengkhar in Mongar, and currently he is the CEO of Druk Horticulture Private Limited.
Pirthiman Pradhan holds M.Sc. Agronomy from University of the Philippines, PG diploma in seed science and technology, B.Sc. in agriculture, and honors in crop science.
“I am a person who is not cut out for politics. I am straight forward and transparent,” he said, adding the party ideology of BKP won him over.
Karma Jimba worked with the UN Mission in Afghanistan for 10 years, and he will contest from Ganzur-Minjey constituency in Lhuentse. He has a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Asian Institute of Technology, and is also the recipient of UN award for best project management. He joined politics in 2015 after resigning from his job.
“If learned and experience people do not join politics, who will take the nation forward,” he asked.
Meanwhile, Tshering Nidup, 49, will be contesting for Bardo-Trong constituency in Zhemgang. He worked in various posts in his 25-year-long career, as a planning officer with the special commission, deputy banking head and deputy director at RMA, and regional secretary at Bhutan Chamber for Commerce and Industry. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
He said he was inspired by the party president, Dasho Neten Zangmo, to join BKP. His objective for joining politics is “to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum” and make meaningful contribution to Zhemgang, which is counted among one of the least developed Dzongkhags in the country.
A teacher for many years, Rinchen Chogyel from Panbang constituency in Zhemgang has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from North Bengal University, India. He believes his degree in politics will help him serve his community more effectively. His village has a lot of fallow lands, which he wants to put into proper use so that the local economy is stimulated and people benefit.
And in North Thimphu, BKP will be represented by Karma Loday, who has a MSc. in Economics from Tilburg University, Netherlands. He has worked with United Nations’ volunteer program for two years in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
“I intend to apply my knowledge and understanding of youth and volunteerism into our GNH philosophy. I feel politics based on money, fame and power will only divide our country. So we need to foster a different approach,” he said.
Meanwhile, the vice-president of BKP, Sonam Tobgay, said some of the candidates have already started their familiarization tours in their constituencies.
“People want change, and change is no one party should rule twice,” he said, adding that the main goal of the party is to win the 2018 national elections, form the government, and redefine politics in Bhutan in terms of how we engage, why we engage, when we engage, and whom we engage.
Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu