What the results tell us

Bhutan’s first ever primary rounds have thrown up several numbers and results subject to several interpretations. It has both confirmed and broken some conventional wisdom on the 2013 elections.

One notion that was proven right was that the three top contenders are the DPT, PDP and the DNT with the DCT being a dark horse in the contest.

However, two popular predictions have been turned on its head. One was that DPT as the incumbent party would win an unassailable majority. The other prediction was that PDP would be replaced by DNT as the opposition party.

However, the biggest notion of the 2013 elections that have been turned around is that the 2013 race is  for the seat of the Opposition.

It is now very clear that the 2013 race is clearly to form the next government either by the DPT or the PDP.

While currently DPT has the upper hand due to its big win of 33 constituencies a closer look at the margins of wins in many constituencies will give PDP hope.

This is because if a significant portion of the ‘votes of change’ given to DNT and DCT are sent PDP’s way then PDP still has a good shot at forming the government. These votes could enable PDP to grab 13 more constituencies in addition to its 12 to get 25 seats which is more than the 24 required by any party to form the government.

Why this scenario is not a fantasy is because of some strong and undeniable ground realities in the 2013 Primary round.

Though starting before that, the ‘politics of change’ was visible in the first Presidential debate in Royal Thimphu College where PDP and DCT directly attacked DPT and even DNT indirectly attacked DPT.

Subsequently the campaign of the two new parties has focused primarily on highlighting the ills of the incumbent DPT government on various fronts from economy to corruption, nepotism and abuse of power.

Both new parties also carried out the ‘Nyamchung’ style of Politics to distinguish themselves from the heavyweight senior DPT leadership.

Though DNT’s style of campaigning may not have been enough to push it through the Primary round its focus on corruption, genuine democracy, autocracy, nepotism and etc was obliquely aimed at the incumbent DPT and also damaged DPT.

The DCT’s more aggressive and direct style of attack aimed at everyone but mainly against DPT to great effect in the first debate also made its intentions clear.

Voters who flocked to vote for these two new parties did so because they offered a new style and way of governance and a break from the past five years, which if truth be told, meant the incumbent DPT government.

Perhaps aware in advance of such dangers the DPT President and his colleagues in its last Meet the Press attacked the idea and concept of parties coming together after the primary round to strengthen the candidates.

Despite DPT’s moral grand standing the ECB has made it very clear that this is legal and parties can change candidates.

Candidates from the new parties themselves have argued in favor of allowing parties to get stronger candidates from other parties and have accused DPT of trying to make the situation difficult for new parties.

Now, with the primary round over and the General Elections around the corner it will be naive for the new parties to still be stuck in the primary mode and make promises for 2018 that they may well not be able to keep or sustain.

Realistically the new parties can go back to their consultancy, business or other jobs and keep a party only in name as new ones come up or take an active part in ‘the politics of change’ and make an impact in the final 2013 results.

It will also be unrealistic for the new parties to hold onto their supporters who will want to move on to the General rounds. The parties can either be left behind or move with their significant support base, guide them and have an actual impact.

Though some may argue that the new parties are giving up their ideologies the more relevant point would be that the ideologies were never that different among them in the first place. The common and undeniable thread was not only replace the party in power but also a new way and style of governance for Bhutan.

The challenge for DPT will be in not opening the champagne yet and being aware that the majority votes in Bhutan have asked for change.

For PDP the challenge will be to not only open its doors but also use consummate political skills and patience in taking the new parties and their voters together with them for what could a nail biting contest on 13th July 2013.


“The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows..” 
Richelle Mead


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  1. PDP should woo the strong party members from DNT and DCT. After all they were once together so they can come together again. Bury the hatred behind for the next five years, if exists. Majority of the voters want it. This is pragmatic and intelligent because it does not make sense to allow a weaker member to contest, if they are surely going to lose. No body will benefit that way. If they can win, then even the member who sacrificed in favor of the strong member could be benefited by having his or her party in power as the party can always look after their needs.

  2. A DNT’s candidate joining PDP would not mean that all his voters will join with him. Adversely, the candidate who is forced to sacrifice his seat will have his own supporters who would also abandon the party. Every action has equal and opposite reaction. My advice to DNT is that if the party seriously wants to contest in 2018, the party should not allow their candidates to switch to another party. Also, the party members must take political sides because when you make new friends, you lose the old ones.

  3. DNT should get Dr. Sonam Kinga, NC Chairman as the party President in 2018 and revisit their manifesto to include developmental activities too because rural voters don’t understand complex terms and the urban voters will not go to vote in villages like in 2008.

    • Dr. Sonam Kinga will not even win from his own constituency, most Tashigangpas just can’t stand this slime ball.

      • Flabbergasted

        The NC result says otherwise. If most people from his constituency cant stand him, he wont get a lot of YES votes and get re-elected. I don’t know how you came to that conclusion.

  4. The results tell us that DPT government has satisfied the majority of Bhutanese people. The results also tell us that DPT is still the most favoured party no matter whatever new parties are formed. The results tell us that our people do not pay heed to false allegations. The results tell us that Bhutan should follow our same old golden route instead of taking an uncertain new route.

    • Flabbergasted

      The results tell us that most people don’t mind corruption! The results tell us that most people like listening to flowery and false speeches. The results tell us that most people don’t mind the government trampling on their rights.

  5. Primary election tells us that majority of Bhutanese do not vote for DPT (combine the voter numbers for PDP+DNT+DCT): It adds up more than 54% whereas DPT gets only 44% and mostly from Eastern Bhutan. I am shocked that people in eastern Bhutan even vote for the son of corrupt Ex-Speaker who could not even speak proper national language. They vote for Ministers responsible for economic mess in the country, and vote for Ministers who give sweet talks on GNH but they do not practice themselves. It is sad that people in the east do not see the wrong direction we are heading under DPT Ministers. 

    • Like it or not, it is the Eastern Bhutanese that will decide who to put in power. Only in your wildest dreams will all the supporters of the DNT, DCT and PDP vote as one. And the eastern Bhutanese know we are in the direction with the DPT, as for you, better back into the hole you crawled out from. 

    • Haha Economic mess and you idiot votes for people who promise you the moon. The eastern Bhutanese knew that what PDP promised can never be realized unlike the western Bhutanese who can’t think for themselves and were led like cattle.

      • Flabbergasted

        Eastern people voting a useless drug abusing criminal(with a criminal dad) says a lot about them. By all means, they are not WISE. The majority of the people from the east are starting to look like the voters from our neighboring countries, easily impressed, fooled and bought off by corrupt politicians. They to me sound like the cattle you are referring to.

  6. what do rustics like Happiness know about what’s going on around? pls vote for druk prado tsogpa or corruption tsogpa.

  7. Mr or Master good– You are too narrow a person to have any constructive reasoning. Perhaps, you have been brain washed by sweet talk of DPT ministers that you fail to see larger world and implication of blind faith. With your kind of attitude and mind set, i will not be surprised to see a day when people like you will divide the tiny nation into ethnic and regional groups. I hope before such situation develops people like you would be crawling in your grave yard. Let Bhutan be “one nation one people” as profoundly said by our 4th King. Once again, my sincere request to “good”–do not ever think of dividing the country; otherwise you will regret having said and done so.

    Cheers and no more argument with “Mr or Master good”.

  8. Yes, Snowman and the group, as you have faith in in PDP’s unrealistic promises, we have faith in our DPT’s promises. It is our right to believe as per our conscience. Don’t always think you are right and we are wrong. The majority is always right. PDP leader is only calculating the cost of helicopters and power tillers. He is avoiding the calculation for excavators, banks, BODs, vehicle workshops and 2 million each for all geogs per year. All these costs amount to about 4 billions. So, please calculate all your promises and tell us if it is realistic or not.

    • Flabbergasted

      I don’t care about promises of helicopters and power tillers! I want a corrupt free government and a government that listens! First thing’s first. Get rid of corruption, and everything will fall into place. Remember that it is corruption and bad policies that ruin a country, not the failure to buy helicopters or power tillers.

      With DPT at the helm for 5 years, “Zero tolerance to corruption” has become a big joke.

      If DPT wins again, they have already promised to fix up the ACC and the media. The two important organizations that are there to deter corruption. That means only one thing, they want to get involved in even more CORRUPTION.

      The legacy JYT and his gang of old ministers will leave behind will be that of a country ruined by corruption, unhappy citizens and one under alot of debt and economic crisis.

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