Wangduephodrang is currently abuzz with the report that while majority of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) voters have left aside their emotional resentment for not having the party of their choice to the general round, they have recovered from the blow and are set to change the fate of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa.
DNT won from the Nyisho-Sephu constituency with 3,033 votes, PDP came second with 2,530 votes while DPT came third and secured 1,208 votes.
In Athang-Thedtsho DNT secured a second place in the constituency with 2,131 votes after PDP which got 2,336 votes while DPT came in third place with 1,813 votes.
DNT’s Kinley Wangchuk said that his party has been experiencing the swing and the ripple effects of the animosity between PDP and DPT voters, whereby there is a very high probability of PDP supporters voting in favor of DNT, and he foresees a high chance of being elected.
“The PDP voters have come forward to express their support to DNT, and we can feel the natural swing of the PDP voters supporting DNT. At the same time, DPT’s false claim of PDP and DNT being a team few years back seems to have backfired because even if it is a complete false allegation, PDP supporters are inclined to support DNT, which I feel is the positive ripple effect,” he said.
Kinley Wangchuk said that PDP voters have committed their support and he strategized the campaigns by promising to align PDP’s important manifestos with DNT’s and deliver them. As a general observation, Kinley Wangchuk said that although the PDP and BKP voters have moved forward and there are no resentments, there has been substantial decrease in the number of people attending the common forum. “We, however, persuade voters to come forward and participate in the electoral processes, irrespective of the party they support.”
If DNT comes to power, Kinley Wangchuk said that he plans to prioritize roads, drinking and irrigation water, resume the construction of Nahi-Thimphu road which is expected to develop the locality, construct road towards the Rinchenling Shedra among others, based on the needs of the locality.
DPT’s Nim Gyeltshen from Athang-Thedtsho said that it is going to be a tight race between the two parties during the general round. He said that he has been using his party’s manifesto and pledges to persuade more support from the PDP and DPT voters. Nim Gyeltshen said that the candidates of PDP and BKP are maintaining a neutral political stand as politicians think about long-term image, which is why they are unwilling to come forward and support either of the parties.
“However, even if the candidates or supporters of the PDP or BKP come forward and influence the public to vote for DNT and BKP, I think it mostly depends on the voters themselves and it wouldn’t make a difference.”
His emphasis, if DPT comes to power, would be to improve the road connectivity and drainage system, focus on self-sufficiency, irrigation channels, address drinking waters issues among lot of other pledges from the manifestos.
DNT candidate Wangchuk Namgyel, 53, from Nyisho-Sephu said that his chances of winning the general election from his constituency seem hopeful. “The result of the primary round speaks for itself, and I see a fair chance of winning from my constituency. I really appreciate that PDP and BKP voters came forward to participate in the electoral process during the primary round by voting for the party of their choice.”
He said during his interaction with the voters, he tells them that DNT is the option for change and voters’ participation in the upcoming election will make a huge impact in the general round.
He said the candidates of PDP and BKP who contested the primary round prefer to remain neutral in their stance and that his party could not receive any moral support from their side to help him garner more of PDP or BKP votes. Thus, he has been applying his earlier strategy of publicizing DNT’s manifesto to get support from all the voters.
Wangchuk, however, said that some of the party workers of the three parties have been going around misinforming the electorates on DNT’s pledges and manifesto, which he feels is totally unethical.
Should DNT come to power, Wangchuk has already identified the priority areas that require immediate attention in his constituency and Wangdue as a whole. He said he plans to firstly prioritize health care facilities in the area, provide a mode of transportation for the primary school kids who have to walk for more than five kilometers to school every day, and at the same, time improve the road conditions, improve drinking water facilities, and come up with strategies for better marketing of agricultural produce.
“Our pledges are people-centric, in the sense that all the pledges are born from the need of the people and not that we are trying to enforce,” said Wangchuk.
DNT’s Wangdue Dzongkhag coordinator, Tshering opined that DNT’s pledge to improve the health services by setting up ultrasound machines, blood test unit, and endoscopy machines among lot of other health related pledges in every BHU favorably persuaded the voters to opt for DNT.
“The people in rural areas have to travel long distances when they are sick, so they wanted to see positive changes in the health services,” said Tshering.
Tshering said that he noticed that there are almost equal numbers of PDP and BKP voters shifting their support base to DNT and DPT. “I cannot say with certainty, but as per my own observation and as per the views of the people, there are equal number of PDP and BKP voters opting for DPT and DNT.”
DPT’s Chimmi Jamtsho from Nyisho-Saephu said that with voters pouring forth their wish to support him, he is confident he will win the seat. He said that he did not approach either of the candidates from PDP and BKP for their support and has been reaching to their voters through DPT’s manifesto and pledges. “I can say that almost 60 percent of the PDP and BKP voters are now onboard with DPT.”
He also added that there is no resentment or emotional factor at play among the voters of PDP and BKP just because their favored party did not make it through. “Our Bhutanese electorates have greatly matured as compared to the first and second round of primary election.”
Chimmi Jamtsho said that should DPT form the government, his emphasis would be on improving the road conditions, and prioritizing drinking and irrigation channels.