The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa winning 30 seats of 47 will form the new government soon, provided there are no complaints from the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa that would, in a worse case scenario, call for a re-election.
The Election Commission of Bhutan has declared the 2018 general election successful. This indicates that there will be no obstacles. DNT will be the third democratically elected government. In a few days time, we will see the party prepare to take over the reins of governance for the next five years.
There are no big celebrations DNT is organizing. This is good. The 2018 election, like previous elections have created a lot of divisions. Social media, which played a big role in the elections created a rift. There are many supporters of the party that came second who are still recovering from the loss. A celebration will only make matters worse.
Now that the elections are over, Bhutanese must accept the verdict of the people. DPT had accepted that with pride and dignity. As we move on, what is important is what the government would be doing.
Running a country for five years is a huge mandate. Our elected government’s tenure coincides with the Five Year Plans. The DNT will implement the 12th Plan. It is a huge Plan that will take us until 2023. By then, we would have already graduated from a least developed country to a middle -income country status. This is a huge calling on the government.
In the DNT government’s tenure, we will see donors and development partners withdraw, as they concentrate on more “needy countries”. This will add pressure to the government. The pressure will be felt right from the first day of governance. The government will have to raise funds to ensure the success of the 12th Plan. Then there are the pledges, which we estimate will cost the government coffer dear.
From the results, it is clear that there are expectations. The party swept west and south Bhutan despite penetrating into the stronghold of DPT in the east. Whatever the reason, people will expect the government to remember its promises. Five years is a short term in governance. The government will be judged based on how it delivers its promises.
The government-elect is already working on its team of cabinet ministers. We will soon see the team that will govern Bhutan for the next five years. The people are impatient and they would want the team to deliver at the earliest.
However, it is the responsibility of the people of Bhutan to help the government complete its tenure successfully. We cannot leave the party alone. Our civil servants, the machinery that would implement government decisions, our private sector that is the engine of economic growth, our local governments who are in touch with the grassroots, among others, should work closely with the government to ensure the success of the 12th Plan and another five years for Bhutan.