Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Desertion: What Can The ECB Do?

It is now official - seven of the DNT candidates have moved to PDP. And, as rumoured, these seven consist of the President, the Vice President and two founding members of the party. One interesting fact is that, of the seven, three of them (Dorji Choden, Lekey Dorji and Pelzang Wangchuk) contested as PDP candidates during the 2008 elections. With their return to the PDP this time round, these three have come full circle.

We may never be completely sure of the far-reaching consequences of this unprecedented political maneuvering. The two parties - PDP and the DNT - has taken advantage of a loophole in the country’s electoral laws to forge an alliance that is in direct conflict with the Constitutional provisions.

Stray incidences of candidates moving from one party to another are a political reality. But the President, the Vice President and two founding members deserting their own party to strengthen and render muscle to another party is something that defies conventional logic. In my view, what these seven did transcends morality and ethics - there is something more than meets the eye. This cannot be simply a matter of political opportunism - there has to be something sinister for the entire party leadership to move to another party.

In the coming days we will discuss the probable reasons why such a thing has come to pass. But first things first.

The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa is a state funded political party. Thus, it is a quasi-public institution and a state apparatus. The day it accepted state funding, it ceased to be an association of private individuals free to do as they please. That is the reason why the ECB is able to dictate its terms on the way political parties function in this country - because they use taxpayers’ money. And, because they use state funds, the political parties and the leadership of these parties are not free to do as they please - there is an element of accountability that is inherent in the principals of state funding of political parties.

Our existing laws cannot prevent the movement of party members and functionaries from one party to another. However, in particular, the founders and the top party leadership has a responsibility to the state. The reason why the party was accepted and registered as a political party fit to contest in the elections was based solely on the composition of the founders, leaders and candidates it is comprised of. Therefore, if the leadership of a party moves to another party en masse, the abandoned party (DNT) is like a rudderless ship without a Captain or a Vice Captain to steer it safely to port.

This is a situation that cannot be acceptable to the state. The state, through the ECB, has invested lot of money behind the party - upwards of ten million. The ECB cannot look at it as a bad investment gone sour and look on helplessly and do nothing about it.

If nothing, the ECB must, at the minimum, require the party leaders and founders to reorganize the party structure and management - before they are allowed to register with another party. Failing that, these leaders and founders must be asked to refund the money the state spent behind the party and de-register it as a political party worthy of receiving state funding.


  1. Yeshi ji, u can cry, bray, pray, badmouth, dig up graves, and talk of "STATE" bt ur talking of ur "State". Not anybody's boy!
    U may dig up more than ur camp hole in some mountain crevasse, bt u will only find urself unconsciously supporting DPT blinded by a faith only God knows what. No sinister things will u discover, so don't cry big man.

    1. Anonymous ji, but you also have to say that Yeshey is right in what he has stated, if you think otherwise, out with it, smart ass.

  2. They say truth hurts, but this truth makes me miserable. I don't see any plausible reason for a leader to abandon its flock. The cliches about strengthening democracy or preventing division between East and West just doesn't hold any water.

  3. I can only surmise that this great photographer's tirade against PDP stems from a fear of some shady and ambitious businessmen propping PDP party and the consequences thereof. That understood, what irks me most is his "I know everything and what is best for the country" attitude clothed in his good writing skills. Many literate and educated people can see and understand for themselves who is a good candidate/party and the ramifications of electing the bad ones. They don't need no gurus extolling the virtues of his revered idols in deciding their allegiance. Except on a couple of occasions, this Great photographer has seen and sees nothing wrong with the policies and questionable acts of the ex-DPT government. Lately, the author has even acquired the authority to scold the ECB as if it has a free hand to change the rules of the games while the match is being play.
    If the author wants to remain credible and respected by the likes of me, I would suggest (unsolicited) him to remain un-biased when writing on political stuffs...unless he has some vested interest, which I doubt he has.

    Having said that, it is his right to his opinion and that too, on his own blog. By the same token, I use my right to comment on his views. So no hard feelings.
    A great fan of the author's photographs.

  4. To the last Anon,
    To demonstrate that I have no hard feelings whatsoever, I am publishing your comments. In fact if you notice, I always publish every comment - whether negative or positive - whether sensible or downright idiotic :) As to your views on my thoughts, you are entitled to it. However, I am compelled to point out a minor and unimportant detail over which you seem to have some confusion. I am talking of the DNT - and not PDP or the DPT.

  5. Don't think of them as another party's members who are against your party, think of them as strong candidates who wants to represent their society in the Parliament and contribute to democracy.

  6. Dear Anon,
    That is acceptable. However, other than Dorji Choden, all the rest of them lost in their constituencies. If these candidates have been rejected by their voters, how can they be considered “strong” candidates.

    However, my issue is not of strengthening or weakening democracy. It is not even about offering a better or poorer alternative. I am concerned with the issue relating to the President, the Vice President and the founding members (I am not bothered about the other candidates) defecting to another party against whom they contested in the Primary round - without first doing the honorable thing - ensuring the continuity of the party they formed. As I said, having obtained state funding in the name of the party, these party leaders have a certain responsibility to the state.