Refugee leader hopes to take part in 2008 election in Bhutan
One of the Bhutanese political parties operating in exile has claimed that it would take part in the national election of Bhutan slated for 2008.
In an interview with the www.apfanews.com, a news portal run by the refugees, president of Druk National Congress (DNC) Rongthong Kuenley Dorji said his party has been making preparations for the election that the Bhutanese king announced to hold for the first time in Bhutanese history in 2008.
Dorji, who was arrested in 1997, jailed for one year and released on condition that he would not leave New Delhi, said that his party ' accepts the elections to be held in 2008 because it has already welcomed the draft constitution prepared by the government'.
While most political leaders in exile have criticize the draft constitution unveiled last year, Dorji said it was positive step towards democratisation of Bhutan and has addressed most of the demands raised by the political parties. "It certainly doesn't encompass all the democratic demands," he said. "Changes need to seep slowly so that foundations of democratic institution in Bhutan become firm and strong to withstand future challenges," Dorji added.
Dorji has criticized the suggestions forwarded by other political parties to the king regarding the drafted constitution. The suggestions to the draft constitution were prepared in the initiation of a faction of his party, which split four years ago. Thinley Penjor leads the split group and claims to be the original DNC.
Dorji also welcomed the offer of UNHCR and the US for third country resettlement of refugees who do not want or cannot return to Bhutan.
He also emphasized the role of international community, especially of India, in finding solution of the refugee crisis and political changes in Bhutan.
Bhutanese king Jigme Singye had announced to hold first parliamentary election in 2008 and handover the democratic Bhutan to his son thence. Refugee leaders had criticised the move of the king stating that his intention is to just to hinder the refugee repatriation by pretending political transformation in Bhutan. nepalnews.com ia Sep 13 06