Parties declare candidates for Nganglam by-elections

Parties declare candidates for Nganglam by-elections

Rinchen Pelzang ( DPT)

Karma Dorji ( DNT)

Sonam Penjor

For the upcoming by-elections for the third Parliamentary election, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has declared their candidate, 45-year-old Karma Dorji, while 37-year-old Rinchen Pelzang will represent Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) from Nganglam constituency in Pemagatshel Dzongkhag which is schedule to be held next month.

Karma Dorji, has a Masters in Information and Technology from Curtin University in Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Information System in Curtin University, Australia.

The DPT candidate Richen Pelzang holds a Bachelor and Diploma degrees in Agriculture Science from the College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan. Further, he has obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in the same subject from the International Agricultural Training Center in Israel.

Karma Dorji said, “I begin this journey by paying sincere homage to late Member of Parliament (MP) Choida Jamtsho. While we are still coming to terms with his sudden departure from our lives last month his humility and dedication for our constituency for over a decade will always be remembered.”

He said that with promises to carry forward his dreams, and that of Nganglam constituency in Pemagatshel, he came forward to represent DNT in the upcoming bye-election.

“Like all the big decisions in life, choosing to contest the bye-election required reason and purpose far bigger than oneself,” the 45-year-old said.

The DPT candidate Rinchen Pelzang, meanwhile, said that throughout his stint in the Civil Service, he served in the rural areas of Bhutan which educated him about the challenges faced by the farmers and the truth that progressive sustainable agriculture is our future.

In addition, he worked with the Japan International Cooperation Agency as its project coordinator of Punakha Dzongkhag.

If elected, Rinchen Pelzang said he would champion for legislative and policy instruments to make the agriculture sector vibrant and source of gainful employment for our youth.

Leadership is given in Rinchen Pelzang. From an early age, he served as student representative in schools and colleges. Under his leadership, Athang Gewog’s agriculture extension office was recognized as one of the best in Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag, which earned him a note of appreciations from the serving Member of Parliament  of Athang-Thedtso Constituency.

He also served as Bhutan’s Tourism Goodwill Ambassador to Israel while studying there. Recently, he was the De-suup Ghojay and essential supplies Coordinator for Athang Gewog and nearby areas.   

However, Karma Dorji said it was with the intentions to enrich our democratic process and offer Bhutanese a choice of third political party that he worked with his friends to form DNT nine years ago.

“Every election I participated in, irrespective of the outcome, was enlightening as well as a gratifying, knowing that we could contribute to Bhutan’s democracy,” he said.

After the 2018 elections, Karma Dorji said he had comfortably ventured into the domains of information and technology enterprises, while staying in touch with the colleagues in the party and government.

But with the unfortunate development that led to the bye-election, Karma Dorji said “everyone I knew turned to me for intercession. After an initial inhibition, I was convinced that this too is a bigger calling that entailed putting the party before self, and the nation before the party.”

“As for the Nganglam constituency, we have promises to keep and aspirations to meet. And it is only through this golden opportunity of working with the party in governance that we can find the right solutions,” added Karma Dorji.

Being deeply spiritual, Rinchen Pelzang spends his spare time coordinating and fund-raising for religious events and projects. He is a core member of the working committee that coordinates and oversees the ongoing construction of Deling Drupchenkhang, the project initiated by late MP Choida Jamtsho, in Decheling Gewog – where Rinchen also hails from.  He is also part of many other informal community groups that help their countrymen in times of need.

According to the DPT Party Secretariat, “We are confident that Rinchen Pelzang would carry on our late colleague MP Choida Jamtsho’s legacy – especially his indisputable commitment to the service of the people he represented for 13 long years.”

Meanwhile, the National Assembly announced the seat of the Nanglam Constituency vacant with the untimely demise of Late MP Choida Jamtsho. 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.