The national Primary Election of Bhutan was held on 31st May, 2013. The voters in their infinite wisdom have decided to entrust the same national leader to lead and the opposition to oppose. The ambitious but little known group has been left wayside and the attractive spinster undated.
I reached Haa on 31st May afternoon to cast my vote and returned today to Thimphu. The people of Haa are happy for Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay the present favourite son of Haa. I could not vote for our outstanding Haap because we differ on Sino-Bhutan Policy. I yearn for Haa to be once again the Trade Route to China’s Tibet and for Bhutan as a whole to strengthen its sovereignty and exercise more independence in its India dominated foreign policy. I have more faith in Lyonchen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley at the national helm of governance. Bhutanese leadership must be more than Pro-India. They must be supremely Pro-Bhutan.
To certain extent I have a fair idea of politics in Bhutan but it is not correct for me to monopolize political forecast publicly. However, as a Haap, I shall comment on Haa politics. I met a friend on the way to Haa (Voting Day) and he told me that the mining issue has changed Haa politics. In hindsight it seems so. It is difficult for many voters to distinguish between local issue and national issue. I feel confident that mining issue can be tackled even when DPT comes back to power. In fact when my good friend Dr. Gado telephoned me for support I told him that I have national reasons to support DPT but he had better clarify (categorically) his position in this mining attack upon the communities of Haa. I do not know how he allayed public mining fear. In the televised forum he was vague. In fact I found out the fear was enhanced because there was a rumour that Lyonchen’s son was involved in the mining project.
I hope the poor DPT performance in Haa does not adversely affect Dr. Gado’s chance at the ministerial berth in the DPT Cabinet because he was leading DPT campaign in the two constituencies of Haa. Will he get elected in the General Election? Yes, it is my take on the ongoing political current of Haa.
Like most Haaps, I do admire Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay’s headlong push. Sometime early last year, I did write to him to move away from specialization in opposing and display more national leadership qualities. Like all self achievers, he did not take kindly to my view. But in the last 2 weeks of Primary Campaign, I saw a transformation. It was no more the figure of opposition. He spoke of his own dream for the nation and dwelt less on criticizing DPT. He appeared to be offering an alternate leadership and pushed himself to the limit covering 19 Dzongkhags in the process. It is a very good start and he has age on his side. A young voter in Haa told me on 1st June “the dream of a Prime Minister from Haa was shattered last night”. The dream need not end here, I feel. But for the time being for the next 5 years I pray that Lyonchen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley’s next government (after General Election) receives necessary support from the National Council and the Opposition Party to take Bhutan to prosperity and progress.