Into uncharted waters: PDP debuts in DPT strongholds

Into uncharted waters: PDP debuts in DPT strongholds

PDP managed to break through some strongholds of the DPT, winning constituencies like Panbang, Khengkhar_Weringla, Drametse_Ngatshang, Deothang_Gomdar, and some constituencies in Trashigang.

In a stunning victory highlighted by venturing into unknown territories, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) dominated the primary round of the National Assembly (NA) elections 2023, winning an overwhelming majority in 39 out of 47 constituencies. With a total of 1, 33,217 votes, representing 42.53% of the total votes, the PDP emerged as the frontrunner for the general round elections which is slated for January 9, 2024.

Trailing behind the PDP is one new kid on the block, Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), who secured an impressive victory in four constituencies securing a total of 61,331 votes which is 19.58% of the total votes.

While the primary round of the election saw fierce competition amongst various parties, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) managed to secure victories in two constituencies, Khar_Yurung and Nganglam. The DPT secured 46,694 votes which is 14.91% of the total votes. However, they could not qualify for the general round elections.

On the other hand, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) emerged victorious in a two constituency from South Thimphu Thromde, Chang, Darkarla, Ge-nyen, and Maedwang, and Khatoed _Laya. The party secured 41,106 of the total vote which is 13.12%. The new political party, Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (BTT) could not win in any constituencies. BTT secured a total of 30,814 votes from the supporter which is just 9.83%.

The PDP also won a majority in both Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Postal Ballots (PB), winning 43 out of the 47 constituencies through PB, with the highest PB vote of 2,283 from Bongo_Chhapcha constituency.

The total highest vote secured by the PDP was from the Bongo_Chapchha constituency with a total of 6,575 votes, and the lowest was from Khatoed_Laya with 218 votes.

Although the PDP celebrated significant victories elsewhere, they could not win in certain constituencies such as Khamead_Lunana, Ngaanglam, Khar_Yurung, South Thimphu, Kanglung_Shamkhar_Udzorong, Warmrong, and Khamdang_Ramjar.

However, they managed to break through some strongholds of the DPT, winning constituencies like Panbang, Kengkhar_Weringla, Drametse_Ngatshang,  Deothang_Gomdar, and some constituencies in Trashigang.

According to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), PDP secured only 79,883 votes and did not qualify for the general round of the 2018 National Assembly election. A total of 291,098 people casted their votes on that fateful day five years ago.

The overall voter turnout was 63%. Of the total 497,058 eligible registered voters, 313,162 cast their votes in the election. From the total votes cast, 195,719 voters were casted through EVM at 809 polling stations, while 117,443 votes were cast through PB in-country and overseas, and special early voting (SEV).

Significantly winning majority of the constituencies, PDP and BTP will contest the general round election. With a landslide victory by the PDP and a considerate performance by BTP in the primary round, both parties will fight to secure support from voters to be the ruling party for the next five terms.

Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu