The primary round results are in and the biggest message from the voters is that they want change as the two parties in the final round were not even in Parliament.
It is clear that the voters were not happy with the performance of both the ruling DNT and opposition DPT in the last five years.
The DNT government did very well with the pandemic and perhaps if elections were held just after the pandemic then DNT would have won hands down.
However, the post pandemic economic slowdown combined with a massive migration and other issues diminished DNT rapidly.
The DNT, however, cannot be dismissed as a force in politics as it put up a brave fightback and could get enough votes to qualify for party funding. However, the mature Bhutanese electorate no longer falls for talk or emotional antics at the last minute.
Its President Dr Lotay Tshering enjoys a high personal popularity and it generally has a good team of leaders.
It should be on standby mode in case future opportunities open up.
The Opposition DPT’s record 15 years stint in Parliament came to an end. The debate strategy of praising DNT to show harmony between the two parties backfired strongly.
People felt that DPT was being too friendly with DNT when its job was to check and balance the government and raise more questions.
DPT also lost due to its voters being tired of being in the Opposition for the last 10 years with power nowhere in sight.
Recognizing this, its voters flocked to PDP and BTP in the hopes of being in the ruling benches for a change.
The DTT tried its best to make its mark in the east and spread from there but that space was taken up by BTP.
DTT’s pledge to buy a hospital in Australia backfired badly as most saw it is an impractical pledge.
DTT was also unable to effectively explain its Sunomics policy.
The DTT President made an impression on urban voters but again it was too abstract and DTT failed to appeal to rural voters.
It also suffered along with DPT due to the lack of enough quality candidates which showed in the debate performances.
What hurt DTT also was the fact that its President had left his North Thimphu constituency midway while in DPT.
Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation.