However, registered voters, postal ballot users and the voter turnout increased as compared to Third Parliamentary Election in 2018
The Fourth Parliamentary National Council (NC) elections conducted in 20 dzongkhags on 20th of April 2023 saw fewer participants with 89 candidates, including 5 females.
This is a reduction of 38 participants as compared to the Third NC Parliamentary Elections in 2018 or a reduction by 29.92%. During the Third Parliamentary Elections conducted on 20th April 2018, there were 127 participants including 6 females.
Meanwhile, the voter turnout during the Fourth Parliamentary Elections was 2,65,441 or 54.64%, an increase by 30,906 or an increase by almost 11.64% voters as compared to 2, 34,535 or 54.29% voters in the third NC elections of 2018.
According to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), a total of 4, 85,811 voters were registered for the 2023 fourth NC election consisting of 2, 36,739 males and 2, 49,072 females while a total of 4, 32,030 voters were registered during the third NC election.
“With a voter turnout of 54.64%, the National Council Elections of 2023 has set the highest voter turnout record in the history of NC elections conducted so far,” the press release from ECB stated.
For instance, the votes from Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was 1, 68,869 in the 2023 fourth NC election, a decrease by 754 votes, as compared to 1, 69,623 EVM votes in the 2018 third NC election.
While the postal ballot votes increased by 31,660 in the fourth NC elections as compared to third NC elections. According to the ECB, there were a total of 96,572 postal ballot votes in the 2023 NC election and 64,912 postal ballot votes in 2018 NC election.
Meanwhile, a total of 20 candidates were elected consisting of 19 males or 95% of males and only one female or 5% of female as the members of the NC of the fourth parliament of Bhutan. In 2018 NC election, there were 18 males or 90% and two females or 10% of females.
The polls on April 20, 2023 were conducted in 811 polling stations in the country using the EVM, a decrease of the polling station by 55 as compared to 866 polling stations in the third NC elections in 2018.
Sherab Dorji from Thimphu