Though the Primary round win may look like an outright DPT victory which got the most number of votes and got 33 out of 47 constituencies the political math shows that anything could be possible on 13th July 2013.
This is because if most of the DNT and DCT voters identify PDP as their second ‘choice of change’ after DNT or DCT then come 13th July 2013 PDP could well form the next government.
Though a bit farfetched at the moment DPT strategists will already be looking at the numerical electoral threat of DNT and DCT voters who now constitute deciding voters in as many as 13 DPT constituencies.
These constituencies where DPT only has a narrow to medium margin that can be easily overtaken by mainly DNT voters are first DNT’s own wins in Phuentsholing and Wamrong followed by major share of votes in Drujyegang-Tseza, Lhamoyzingkha-Trashiding, Gelephu, Dorokha-Tading, Pagli Samtse, Deothang-Gomdar, North Thimphu,South Thimphu, Drakteng-Langthel, Bardo-Trong and Kilkorthang Mendrelthang.
If PDP which already has 12 constituencies can swing the ‘change vote’ their way then they in theory could get a total of 25 constituencies, enough to comfortably cross the simple majority threshold of 24 MPs to form the government in a 47 member National Assembly.
In addition to the above the total votes of PDP, DNT and DCT combined would be much more than DPT’s total vote gained during the Primary round.
PDP President Tshering Tobgay taking a cautious and at the same time confident line said that there is six weeks left and anything can happen in that time.
He said, “In addition to the good support received by the new parties the overwhelming support received by PDP is an indication of the mood of the people who want change.”
On the possibilities of cooperating or working with the new parties the PDP President said, “I think we all championed from a common platform which is change and because our platform is common our objectives will be the same.”
Extending an olive branch to the new parties the PDP President said, “It goes without saying that we should be able to work together.” A DNT and PDP tango would be easier given that many of them belonged to the same party at one time.
Dr Tandin of DNT said that his party had not discussed on the issue of supporting anyone else and would be discussing what to do on various issues in the coming days.
Lily Wangchuk said that it would be up to those who voted for DCT to choose the next party they want to vote for.
What might make the position of both PDP and DPT tricky is that both DNT and DCT votes while being votes for change are also not necessarily in favor of any particular party. According to political observers many DNT votes were related to the fact that voters neither wanted to vote for DPT or even PDP. In the case of DCT it had its own loyal band of supporters centered on Lily Wangchuk and the party’s young candidates.
The challenge for PDP will be to present itself as a second option or in some cases as a ‘lesser evil’ to the voters of the two new parties. For DPT the main challenge will be to ensure that this change vote given to the two new parties is not added to PDP which could effectively ruins DPT chances in the General Elections.
The PDP hopes are centered on winning the south, west and parts of central Bhutan comprehensively and also attempt at breaking through DPT’s eastern fortress. For DPT the challenge will be easier at the moment on holding on to its gains but it needs to watch where the DNT and DCT votes go.
With the opposition leader already indicating his need to strengthen his Eastern base and with DPT bound to be doing the math in PDP’s 12 constituencies the 13th July 2013 outcome could still be anybody’s day.