Which way will DNT , DPT and DTT voters go in the final round

With the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) squaring off in the General round, a key question now is which way will the candidates, party workers and voters of the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and the Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) support or vote for.

Earlier, BTP and PDP both declared they won’t take candidates from other parties but BTP took a candidate from Sombaykha on Sunday after its own candidate got disqualified.

DNT

The President of DNT Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering said that leaders in his party had been approached by both BTP and PDP to support them in the general round.

He said some DNT candidates and members are supporting BTP very strongly and some DNT candidates and members are supporting PDP strongly.

The DNT President said that at IMS on 2nd or 3rd November in a Zoom meeting and on 28th November he had told his candidates have to be ready for all eventualities, win or lose.

He said if DNT does not make it then the central party of DNT will have nothing to say and it would be up to the candidates at the constituency level on whether they want to join or support any other party.

He said if a party wants to take candidates then it is to be left to the constituency as sometimes the situation would be very obvious as taking a candidate who can win from another party.

The DNT President said the party by itself is neutral and it is up to the DNT candidates, coordinators and voters whom they want to support.

The DNT General Secretary Phurba said the same saying that it is up to the individuals and there are no instructions. He said DNT people are making choices based on the candidates.

DPT

The DPT President Dorji Wangdi said that the DPT party has no formal position asking its supporters and voters to support BTP or PDP and he said they have always been advocating that it should be left to the voters and their aspirations.

He said the voters should choose a popular and credible government supported by the majority.

While the DPT President took a diplomatic stance a DPT senior party official on the condition of anonymity predicted that most of the supporters of DNT, DPT and DTT will vote for BTP.

This DPT party official said that if BTP gets such support then it can try gaining 17 seats of eastern Bhutan and 6 seats in central Bhutan and then some seats in the pockets in the west and south to form the government.

DTT

The DTT President Kinga Tshering said that even though DTT got the least votes it is still around 31,000 (30,814) votes which is quite substantial.

He said they have been talking among themselves and to coordinators, supporters and individuals and decided that a decision cannot be taken as a block as it is very difficult to differentiate the ideologies of the two parties.

He said because of this they are leaving it to their friends to decide at the constituency level.

He said it now depends on the local dynamics.

BTP

A source in the BTP said that right after the results there was some discussion and thinking on how to attract the support of other parties including potential strong candidates who could not make it.

Some of these candidates were even interested but when BTP put the issue to the larger BTP candidates, the idea of taking on other candidates was rejected.

The BTP then decided to go with its primary round 47 with the only condition being that if candidates back out on their own then they can do so.

A BTP official said the strategy in the coming days is focusing more on the winnable seats and to see if they can get the support of the three parties.

The official said they will look at picking up more seats in the east and centre and then try for pockets in the west while the south looks more difficult.

PDP

A source in the PDP said that for the PDP, given the margin of its win, there was no proposal to change candidates but the PDP is in touch with candidates, party coordinators and supporters of other parties to get their support for the general round.

One such party is the DNT candidates with whom PDP has been in touch with to get their support.

The PDP source said that DPT voters are also coming with PDP even in the east as they are fed up of being in the Opposition. He said they are in touch with even DTT and DPT coordinators and supporters in the general round.

A PDP candidate, on the condition of anonymity, said that the situation of support by members and voters of the other three parties will differ from constituency to constituency.

He said that in his constituency at the ground level the supporters and coordinators of DPT, DNT and DTT are coming forward to support PDP.

He said it is all mixed. He said there are some who voted for DPT since they are related but with DPT not there they will vote for him as they are also related more distantly to him.

He said in his constituency DNT supporters will mainly support him as it all depends on how they talk to convince the voters.

The candidate said that BTP may use the fact that their President is from the east and so may be an eastern Prime Minister but he said people should also know that PDP has at the least 4 ministerial candidates in the east like Yeshey Dorji, Norbu Wangchuk, Dorji Choden and Kinzang Wangdi not even taking into account other senior ones from the east like Sonam Penjor in Mongar and a former Dzongda too.

An important factor in the east will be postal ballots as they make a huge difference and so PDP plans to appeal to these voters.

The candidate said in the south he is hearing that everyone is coming behind PDP.

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