The Primary Round of National Assembly Election 2018 saw Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) with 22 seats, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) claimed 16 seats and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) managed to get 9 seats. The numbers clearly show that DPT needed just two seats required to form the government.
However, in the general round, a combination PDP and DNT votes played a significant role in DNT’s win as it was able to win 5 of the 10 DPT held seats, in addition to the 9 seats won by PDP.
Former Lyonpo, Lekey Dorji, from Bardo Trong, Zhemgang said, “I think they voted for DNT for greatly enhanced health services, free WiFi and salary enhancements for public servants. Most of all, I think people voted for change and DNT’s pledge to narrow the gap in just 5 years.”
Phuntsho Dendup from Nubi Tangsibji, Trongsa said, “In Nubi Tangsibji, though we did not tell people to vote for DNT, people in the constituency supported DNT because they wanted a new candidate from the constituency as they believe that it is not healthy for one person to stay in power for too long.”
Kuenzang Thinley from Chhoekor Tang, Bumthang said, “As the primary round of National Assembly Election result shows, the people voted for change. DPT won in the first parliamentary election and PDP in second and now DNT in third, which clearly shows that people wanted change. A majority of PDP’s supporters also voted for change.”
Tandin Dorji from South Thimphu said, “I feel that PDP supporters might have voted for DNT and that’s why DNT won the election. The reason could be DNT’s pledges because their pledges are very attractive and most youth and villagers like their pledges as it was targeting them.”
He said, “Secondly, PDP might have thought that if DNT comes to power, this would be easier for PDP to contest in 2023 election because DPT has so much experience since the inception of democracy in Bhutan and they have been playing the role of both ruling and opposition party, and PDP voters might have thought that if DPT comes to power, it would be very difficult to win the election in 2023 compared to DNT.”
Garja Man Rai from Sergithang Tsirangtoe, Tsirang said, “People in the south, and particularly from my constituency, opted for the new party.”
He said, “In the south, people thought that PDP and DNT will win in the primary round as the competition was between PDP and DNT, but after PDP’s loss, PDP supporters might have supported DNT based on its manifesto, party president and candidates.”
Dechen Wangmo from North Thimphu said, “I feel that in my constituency, PDP supporters voted for DNT as well as DPT, and I am saying this because if a large majority of PDP supporters voted for DNT, I would have won by a huge margin. In my case, the differences in the number of votes were not so much and those who voted for DNT, might have voted based on our pledges.”
Loknath Sharma from Dophuchen-Tading, Samtse said, “In the primary round, DPT won from my constituency, but in general, I won – not because PDP supported me or my party but because I lost in the primary, I worked so hard and won because of my hard work.”
Changa Dawa from Khatoed Laya from Gasa said, “I feel that a majority of PDP supporters voted for DNT because the party was so active after the primary round visiting different places explaining them about their pledges. If DPT has done the same thing or if the party has approached the people before DNT, it could have won few more votes.”
Karma Lhamo, DPT coordinator from Lhuentse said, “DNT won the election because all the PDP supporters voted for DNT.
In the primary round, DPT won 22 seat and DNT only 16 seats which shows that DPT needed only 2 more seats to form the government. With PDP’s support, the general results turned in favor of DNT. The reason why PDP voted for DNT is unknown to me.”
Karchung, 59, from Balam, Mongar said, “All the PDP supporters voted for DNT because in 2013 election, DNT supported PDP and maybe PDP supporters feels that they have to support DNT for helping them win the election in 2013.”