The DNT candidate won the Chhoekhor-Tang seat by a landslide against his DPT opponent. The loss of the seat of the former Opposition Leader will come as a blow to the Opposition party especially since it was considered to be a stronghold seat since 2008.
However, this result is in no way a predictor for the 2023 elections. Not long ago PDP had won the North Thimphu seat from DPT with a huge margin but the very same party was ousted in 2018.
As the DNT candidate himself highlighted the election was not about party ideology and who supports whom, but it was a simple transaction of pledges and who could complete them.
The DNT went in with all guns blazing led by the Prime Minister who many say actually turned the seat around by promising to implement the candidate’s pledges.
However, DNT also went overboard in its promises with the Prime Minister even darkly hinting that the provision of specialists to Bumthang would be delayed if his candidate did not win. This is unacceptable political black mail and a low point of the election.
One hopes that this is an aberration and not how the government plans to function.
The election was revealing in one more aspect in terms of how determined DNT is to wrest seats and to hold onto political power.
At the same time the pledge to black top farm roads in the constituency will be an interesting one as others may ask why not for them.
Given that it was an ideology free race as insisted by the DNT candidate and played as such, this helped the winning candidate given his family relations to the former DPT President.
DPT voters would also have voted for Dawa as an acceptable replacement for their former OL with the added benefit of being from the ruling party. The candidate in that sense may have had a rival in DPT but not an enemy.
The Prime Minister’s own efforts to support the former OL’s farming initiative in the constituency would also have led to more goodwill and an easier win.
“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
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