The adage – ‘More the merrier’ – could best sum up the developments taking place in politics right now with the two new parties, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) and Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT), successfully receiving the certificate of registration as political party from the Election Commission of Bhutan last week.
With the two new parties and another aspiring party, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa which is up, awaiting a similar fate, it is obvious that there will be primary round election this year. This was something voters didn’t get to experience in the 2008 elections as there were just two parties.
Some political pundits, therefore, argue that it wasn’t a complete democratic process then because of the absence of primary round election. However, the 2013 elections would be new and a different experience for voters as well altogether.
But new political parties deserve applauses too. Firstly, for getting legal recognition as political party and secondly, for expanding political options for our voters, thus ultimately helping to the flourishing of democracy. More the number of parties, more choices for voters to chose from.
The political journey of the new parties may have begun, but it’s only the first hurdle they have managed to cross over for now. Times will obviously not be any easier from now onwards. Garnering adequate candidates from a limited pool of political candidates is still a challenge they need to overcome. Some parties, going by the developments now, are still desperately searching for candidates.
And even if it isn’t a big problem, the other mammoth task would be what the new parties have predominantly been engrossed for quite some time- finding a party president who many presume would be the decisive element in the 2013 elections.
The search is only made daunting by the limited number of eligible candidates and the subsequent dearth of people with experience of serving at a ministerial level, especially a prime minister material. For now, only the DCT has a party president among the new parties.
Collection and disbursement of funds would be another challenge for the new parties. While new parties envision having party machineries in all 20 districts, some political parties seem lost for answer in how they plan to take this forward; thus also evoking question on their financial comfortableness.
Further, how new parties would convince voters is another arduous task as there is still this unanimous sensing among people that the ruling party will somehow win the next elections as well. The reason, some political observers contend, is that some new parties are still weak and that they don’t offer people strong alternative.
Thus, the new parties have a mammoth task up their sleeves. They need to buckle up if they are really serious about their political pursuit. The time is now.