By this time next week, Bhutan will have chosen 20 members to the National Council. Forty-seven candidates will have lost the election cutting short their dream to serve the nation in Parliament. We hope that the 20 candidates we choose will be the best among the 67 contesting the election. We hope that the televised debate, common forums, and door-to-door campaigns have given the voters enough knowledge to decide on the right leaders. As far as we know, the candidates are pitted against one another in a fair and transparent manner. This is an important reason to believe that the people will choose the right leaders.
If there are still some voters who have not yet decided whom to vote for, it is high time that they did. In fact, if what people talk are anything to go by, there are many voters who have not decided on their candidates either because of lack of time to study them or by simply being indifferent to or nonchalant about the important responsibility. Some citizens, including a few educated ones, casually say that they are not only undecided on the candidate of their choice, but they even do not know well who their candidates are. This is neither a casual matter nor something not to be ashamed of. This could, in fact, be tantamount to dereliction of a sacred duty of a democratic citizen. We hope that all our people will take this responsibility seriously.
In the meanwhile, we commend all the candidates for rising up to the occasion to give the people choice of leadership. We know that many of them have made sacrifices to answer the call of the nation. For those who could not make it through the gewog level, your participation still counts, and your contribution will run through the whole process of election.
We hope more capable candidates will join party politics to take our political process forward. We know that in a society that wants good elected leaders but often grudges every bit of privilege for them – higher salary, allowances, trust, respect – it is difficult to make sacrifices. But we need individuals with the courage to stand up against many odds.