Into uncharted waters: PDP debuts in DPT strongholds

Horse sweeps the stable tidy

From a total vote of 1, 33,217, PDP secures 50,165 votes via postal ballot and 83,052 votes on EVM

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) grossed the highest numbers of votes among the five political parties in the primary round of National Assembly (NA) elections 2023, sweeping away majority of the Postal Ballot (PB) votes from all constituencies.

About 38% of the votes were secured via PB with 50, 165 votes in total while 62% of the votes were secured through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) with 83,052 votes in total.

As per the result declared by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) on Friday, PDP secured the highest PB votes from Bongo_Chapcha constituency under Chhukha Dzongkhag with 2283 votes, followed by 2045 PB votes in Gelephu constituency under Sarpang Dzongkhag, and 1999 PB votes in Bardo_Trong under Zhemgang Dzongkhag.

Similarly, PDP also secured about 91% of the win rate in PB from all 47 constituencies in the country. The only four constituencies which PDP lost in PB votes include three constituencies in Pemagathsel Dzongkhag and one constituency in Trashigang.

For instance, PDP’s unsecured PB votes were from the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) strongholds of Nanong_Shumar, Khar_Yurung , and Nganglam constituencies under Pemagatshel, and Bhutan Tendrel Party’s Kanglung_Samkhar_Udzorong constituency.

Meanwhile, BTP secured the second highest Postal Ballot votes of 22606 and EVM with 38725, followed by DPT securing 19067 Postal Ballot votes and 27627 EVM votes.

While Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) also secured 15362 of the Postal Ballot votes and 25744 of EVM votes and Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) with 10243 of the Postal Ballot votes and 20571 EVM votes.

Meanwhile, PDP secured 42.53% of the total votes with 1, 33,217 votes, followed by BTP securing 19.58% of the votes with 61,331 votes, and  DPT securing 14.91% of the votes with 46,694 votes.

Similarly DNT also secured 13.12% of the votes with 41,106 votes while DTT secured 9.83% of the votes with 30,814 votes.

Reflecting on the eligible registered voters, there were a total of 4, 97,058 eligible registered voters. However, only 3, 13,162 voters exercised their franchise.

According to the ECB, from the total votes cast, 1,95,719 votes were cast in person on EVM at the 809 polling stations and 1,17,443 votes were cast through PB including Postal Ballot-In-country, and overseas, and Special Early Voting (SEV).

Back in 2018, PDP also secured the highest votes on EVM with 56,180 votes. About 70% of the 79,883 total votes won were on the EVM.  However, PDP won the least number of PB votes with 23,703, securing only 29.6% of the total votes.

Overall, PDP won 30.7% of the EVM votes and 21.8% of the PB votes during the primary round elections for the Third Parliament.

A total of 110,538 PB packages from the total 133,795 registered postal voters were received by Returning Officers during the primary round in 2018, meaning, a total of 23,257 postal voters did not turn up at the PB Facilitation Booths, or did not return the PB, or posted the ballot too late to the Returning Officer.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu