Parties declare candidates for Monggar Constituency for by-elections

Dorji Youden ( DPT)
Karma Lhamo ( DNT)

Sonam Penjor

For the upcoming by-elections for the third Parliamentary election, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has declared their candidate, 42 years old, Karma Lhamo, while Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) declared 30 years old Dorji Youdon, as its candidate for the Monggar Constituency’s by-election which is schedule to be held next month.

After graduating from Sherubtse College in 2016 with major in Dzongkha and Media Studies, Dorji Youden worked as a Liberian at Lhuntse Higher Secondary School in Lhuntse.

While, Karma Lhamo has Masters in Business Administration from University of Canberra, Australia and Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Samtse College of Education.

And Karma Lhamo is a former Member of Parliament, teacher, social worker and travel manager among others. 

In schools and college, Dorji Youden assumed several leadership roles and was part of activities aimed to empower and help community members. Social work and empathy define her persona.

Hailing from Chali village in Monggar, she describes herself as a ‘motivated and committed person’ and believes that one’s attitude defines her being. Her rural background and upbringing have shaped her identity as a humble, hardworking and determined woman.

Asked what her conviction would be in as a politician, Dorji Youden said: “I know how much our youth are suffering because of unemployment problems in the country. I will propose and champion for legislative and policy measures to address this pressing social peril”. Wishing for the youth of Bhutan, she says: “My dream is to see all our youth engaged in productive employment to live a meaningful and happy life that they deserve.” 

Given that politics is a male-dominated profession, Dorji Youden hopes her participation in politics would encourage young women to come forward to serve the country and people through this social enterprise. 

Having participated in three consecutive parliamentary elections, Karma Lhamo said “I had taken a break from politics. It led to a spiritual expedition that also provided a fulfilling time to pursue my passion as a social worker.”

“However, in this unexpected turn of event, fate has heaved me back to politics. When the offer came to consider representing the ruling party in the upcoming Monggar bye-election, it took a while for me to decide,” said Karma Lhamo.

“But ultimately, the only question I had to answer was what I really believed in for all these years? My aspirations and commitment to work for the people of my constituency are as vivid. And this was one chance that was coming my way.”

Karma Lhamo said “People would ask why I switched to DNT while I had represented DPT in all the past elections.”

 “In my experience as a politician, my allegiance has always been with the people I pledged to serve. I believe changing party is insignificant, as long as I am serving my King, country and people, especially those of Monggar constituency,” added Karma Lhamo.

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Bhutan has accepted the resignation submitted by Dasho Sherab Gyeltshen, Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs and the Member of Parliament from Monggar Constituency on 6 May as per Section 18 of the National Assembly Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008. Upon the acceptance of the resignation, the seat of the Monggar Constituency has become vacant.

The seats were declared vacant as per Section 20 of the Act and the Speaker has issued a writ to the Election Commission of Bhutan to fill the vacant seats in keeping with the Section 22 of the Act. Section 20 of National Assembly Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008, states that he seat of a member shall become vacant upon: resignation; death; disqualification or removal; or the expiration of the term of office. Further, section 22 of the Act states that when the office of a member of the National Assembly becomes vacant for any reason other than the expiration of term, a writ for an election to fill the vacancy shall be issued within one month after the vacancy occurs and an election of a member to fill the vacancy shall be held within ninety days as from the date of vacancy.