At 63%, voter turnover improves this year

The voter turnover during the primary round NA election five years ago was lesser by 20,000

The recent primary round National Assembly (NA) election saw an overwhelming 63% voter turnout across the 47 constituencies on poll day.

A total of 3, 13,162 voters out of the 4, 97,058 registered voters, consisting 2, 42,215 males and 2, 54,843 females went to cast their votes.

The numbers this year are slightly higher than in 2018 with 20,000 more voters exercising their franchise this year, according to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

For instance, 1,95,719 votes were cast in person using the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the 809 polling stations, and 1,17,443 votes were sent through Postal Ballot (PB) which includes PB-In-country and Overseas, and Special Early Voting (SEV).

1, 33,217 people chose to vote for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while 61,331 voters embraced the newbie Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP).

“It is only a fortnight before we see one of these two parties taking the helm of governance and the other assuming the role of a hawk’s eye,” an election official said.

From the 47 constituencies, PDP secured and won the total votes from 39 constituencies. In the western part of the country under Bji_Kar_Tshog_Uesu constituency in Haa, the party secured 1413 votes through the EVM and 720 votes via PB.

In Central Bhutan, PDP secured the highest vote in Bumthang from both the constituencies, securing 1613 votes in Chhoekhor_Tang and 1107 votes in Chhuming_Ura constituencies, while Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) secured the least vote with only 712 votes.

In Trongsa, DTT secured the least vote in two constituencies with only 1159 votes in total and the highest vote was secured by PDP with 2744 votes in total.

However, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) outlasted PDP in South Thimphu after the former secured 2006 votes while the latter could only harness 1747 votes. PDP secured the highest votes in North Thimphu with 1602 votes, followed by BTP with a total vote of 959 while DNT securing only 632 votes.

From the Eastern Dzongkhags, Pemagatshel saw more votes towards DPT who secured 4506 votes from two constituencies, namely Khar_Yurung constituency and Nganglam constituency while PDP won the total votes from Nanong_Shumar constituency with 1559 votes.

Similarly, from Kanglung_Samkhar_Udzorong constituency, BTP won the votes with 3937, followed by PDP with 2479 votes while DPT, DNT and DTT each secured 538, 552 and 502 votes respectively.

PDP swept all the constituencies under Monggar Dzongkhag with a total vote of 9394 votes. The second highest vote was secured by BTP with 6005 votes.

PDP also secured maximum votes from the Southern Dzongkhags of the country securing a total of 26362 votes from Samtse and Sarpang, followed by BTP with 7165 votes from Samtse and Sarpang Dzongkhags.

While PDP and BTP booked their places in the general round, DPT stood third with 46694 votes, and DNT and DTT each securing 41106 and 30814 votes.

Meanwhile, few PBs were rejected in the primary round even though the ECB implemented new standard operating procedures to ensure that every vote counts. “There was a lack of competent witness signatures and mismatched Citizenship Identity Card (CID) numbers,” said the Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag election officer.

Dechen Choden from Thimphu