The grueling hunt for party candidates has definitely become like finding a needle in a haystack for some of the new political parties contesting in the upcoming elections. Even after months of their coming out in the open and registration as political parties, some are still in a desperate exploration looking out for candidates that will represent the party.
Besides the incumbent party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, which seems to be on a better footing comparatively, most of the new parties are still yet to divulge to the public all names of party candidates for the 2013 elections.
As of now, People’s Democratic Party has officially revealed about 25 candidates, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party recently introduced another six new candidates on March 7, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa has officially introduced about 33 candidates, while Druk Chirwang Tshogpa has publicly disclosed five candidates.
The last-minute rush in finding suitable candidates is perhaps the faults of their own doing. Parties were earlier relaxed, composed that a tentative list of 47 candidates would suffice, but the recent elucidation from the Election Commission of Bhutan that all parties should have the required numbers of candidates to be eligible for elections have literally put them on their toes.
This predicament, some observers say, would be the political nemesis of some of the new parties; basically presenting the probable chances of a party not making or getting disqualified even prior to the primary round election because of not having the required 47 candidates. If such is the scenario, some parties don’t look like it’s even going to make it past the first hurdle.
The task of finding candidates, obviously good ones, is aggravated by the dearth of qualified candidates as majority of them are in the civil service. The bureaucratic rigmarole, starting up from having to put up one’s resignation to entering politics, and the not-so-benign attitude towards politics have played their share too in dissuading some, who are at life’s crossroad, mulling over whether to resign or enter politics.
But with five political parties as of now, we are talking a minimal of about 235 candidates that not only possesses a university degree but are capable as well. Getting the numbers alone, nonetheless, wouldn’t be good. What we need is good, capable candidates in the Parliament, mainly because they will be the ones responsible for whatever policies and laws that are churned out from there. They will be the ones responsible for discussion on issues of significance that will have pivotal impacts on commoners; thus also ensuring the successful fruition of democracy in the country.
Thus, new political parties must know that it’s just not about attaining the numbers. And similarly, the political candidates must know as well.