The Primaries in the Trashigang dzongkhag was dominated by the erstwhile ruling party, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) who swept all but one among the five constituencies.
A new entry and a new party, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) cinched a clear victory in the Thrimshing constituency with 2,036 votes and left the DPT trailing behind by 1,227. The former ruling party had secured only 809 votes through its 547 electronic voting machine (EVM) votes and 262 Postal Ballot votes (PB).
The DNT’s President and candidate of the Thrimshing constituency Dorji Choden received 1,316 EVM votes and 720 postal ballot votes, a score which beat the remaining three parties in both forms of voting.
Having secured a place in one of the biggest vote banks of the nation is anything but a bad deal and the woman president has it very likely to be on assured-grounds.
The DNT President could not be reached even after repeated attempts on her mobile phone.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will have to forgo its hold on the constituency as it’s clearly a woman’s domain and a DNT stronghold. The former Opposition secured 362 votes in total through its 182 EVM votes and 180 postal votes. The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) meanwhile had to make do with the remains of what seemingly is the verdict of the electorate.
The DCT received 92 in total with its 84 EVM votes and 8 Postal Votes.
The four remaining constituencies of Radhi-Sakteng, Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong, Bartsham-Shongphu and Wamrong were declared DPT territories.
In Radhi-Sakteng, the DPT candidate Jigme Tshultim received 2,254 total votes with its 1,833 EVM votes and 421 postal votes. The PDP took runners-up with 1,002 votes through its 719 EVM votes and 283 postal votes. The PDP candidate Gongsar Karma Chhopel got a total of 1,002 votes through a sum total of 719 EVM votes and 283 postal votes.
Jigme Tshultim could not be contacted for his reactions on the victory.
The second on the victory stand Gongsar Karma Chophel said this is not a real victory and actually gives me more pressure – to perform better in the next round.
The PDP candidate in the constituency said “We were the last party 2 arrive in our constituencies and by the time, people had already allied with their choice of parties.
He said the only reason why the party performed this well was because people who supported the party back in 2008 still remained loyal and faithful.
“And that is how we performed remarkably,” he said.
In Bartsham-Shongphu, the former finance minister secured a comfortable 2,717 votes through 2,040 EVM votes and 677 postal votes while the DNT candidate Tenzin Lekphell received 919 total votes with his 651 EVM votes and 268 postal votes.
Wangdi Norbu said people trusted the DPT and that’s why they are in support of the party. At the same time, he said the people have also witnessed the achievements that DPT brought about in its tenure as the former ruling government.
“Maybe that’s why people have voted for continuity and we thank the people,” said the former finance minister.
Tenzin Lekphell said we (DNT) wanted to give an alternative, a choice to the people and people have made their decision. And we are happy about it,”
In the Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong constituency DPT’s Thinley Palden Dorji won with a majority vote of 2,441 through his 1,931 EVM votes and 510 postal ballot votes.
“All I have to say is a big ‘thank you’ to the supporters without whose support this would not be possible,” Thinley Palden Dorji said. “This victory is their victory.”
The DNT candidate Norbu Wangchuk received the second highest with his 1,010 total votes from 676 EVM votes and 334 postal ballot votes.
“The DNT has spoken to the people of Bhutan, we have spoken loud and clear that our democracy should not tread the wrong path, and it could tread the wrong path when the powerful and the rich use political parties as tools to protect their self-interests,” Norbu Wangchuk said. “People of Bhutan have listened to us and now they have spoken. The DNT accepts the judgment of the people of Bhutan with deep respect.”
And as the DPT swept, so it did even in Wamrong where its candidate Lhatu won with 1,698 votes through 1,240 EVM votes and 459 postal votes. The PDP candidate Karma Tenzin secured the second place for his party with 1,102 total votes from his 695 EVM votes and 407 postal votes.
Lhatu said now it will be even more interesting in the next rounds, the generals. He said it is not sure where the people, the supporters of the DCT and DNT will incline.
“I’m quite satisfied with the outcome and I would like to thank my supporters from all walks of life and wish for the same support from them even in the next rounds,” said the DPT Wamrong candidate.