As Bhutan held its Fourth National Council election on April 20th, only two of the 10 incumbent members who re-contested managed to win.
They are Paro’s representative Ugyen Tshering and Chukha’s representative Sangay Dorji.
Among the 18 new members elected on 20th April, Birendra Chimoria from Tshendagang in Dagana defeated incumbent Surjaman Thapa by 3,356 votes.
Namgay Dorji from Talog in Punakha defeated the incumbent member Lhaki Dolma by 473 votes. Tshering from Khatoe in Gasa defeated incumbent Dorji Khandu by 180 votes.
Dago Tsheringla, from Samar in Haa won from the incumbent member Ugyen Namgay by 589 votes. Tshering Wangchen, from Narang in Mongar defeated incumbent Sonam Pelzom by 1717 votes.
Jamyang Namgyal from Shumar in Pema Gatshel defeated incumbent member Choining Dorji by 2936 votes.
Pema Tashi from Serzhong in Sarpang defeated incumbent member Anand Rai by 3405 votes. Sonam Tenzin from Khamdang in Trashiyangtse defeated incumbent member Karma Gyeltshen by 2274 votes.
Paro reelects incumbent
Ugyen Tshering, 53, is re-elected as Paro’s NC representative. He secured 3,547 votes to win the seat in the House of Review. Paro had five candidates contesting for the NC post.
Gyeltshen Dukpa from Loongyi gewog secured 2,135 votes, Jigme from Shara Gewog secured 3,330 votes. Zecko from Dokar gewog got 882 votes, and Ugyen Dorji from Wangchang gewog got 2,047.
The Dzongkhag saw a voter turnout of about 57.1% of the total 20,880 registered voters. A total of 11,303 votes were casted on EVMs in the 26 polling stations across the 10 gewogs. Postal ballot accounted for 2,696.
Including both overseas and in the country, however, according to the returning officer of Paro, Karma Wangdi, out of 2,696, 142 were rejected and four accounted for invalid votes.
Meanwhile, Jigme, from Sharpa Gewog, posed a strong challenge to the current member Ugyen Tshering in the election by receiving 3,330 votes. However, Ugyen Tshering managed to win with a margin of 217 votes.
Ugyen Tshering, from Lamgong gewog said, “There were mainly two reasons for his victory; firstly during my last tenure, I served with dedication and loyalty and remained connected with the people through good and bad times.”
He said after every Parliament session, he goes to the public and discusses their concerns.
The second reason he mentioned is that he received a significant number of votes in the postal ballot and is grateful to the public for recognizing his previous work as an NC member.
Moving forward, he plans to address the policies and challenges in Paro that require review and discussion.
Meanwhile, out of total voter turnout of 15,176, he secured 23,3% (3547) votes. And, out of the total EVM vote casted, he secured 27% (2681) votes.
Additionally, during the Damngoi zomdu, he secured 686 votes from 1102 voters who attended, winning the nomination.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sherubtse College. During the live debate held on April 7 in Shari HSS, he promised to serve the people with utmost dedication and act as a mediator between the government and the public.
He also mentioned the formation of the sixth pay commission to revise the pay of the government employees and stated that he would consult with relevant stakeholders on important matters.
“I will be the bridge between the people and the government and always consult with relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Chukha reelects incumbent
Chukha has voted in favour of its incumbent NC member, Sangay Dorji, from Bongo gewog. He secured 7,958 (EVM; 5454, PB; 2504). Damcho Gyeltshen was able to draw 4141 votes.
Before his tenure as a council member, he served as a school principal.
Meanwhile, in an earlier live debate, Sangay Dorji said, he aims to prioritize the protection of the Constitution’s sanctity, while also advocating for various measures to address social inequality.
He also promises to focus on issues affecting youth and propose practical solutions while remaining responsive to the needs of citizens.
He plans to request the government to consult with the electorate before proposing or examining the necessity of any law, and together with the citizens, ensure the successful implementation of the 12th and 13th Plan development activities.
He was the lone aspirant candidate during the gewog zomdu from Gedu Miritsemo and secured 535 Yes votes and 36 No votes.
Meanwhile, Chukha Dzongkhag saw a voter turnout of 54 % ( 15,176)
out of 28,006 registered voters.
A total of 11,303 votes were casted on EVM in 65 polling stations across 11 gewog and postal ballots accounted for 3,873.
Meanwhile, Chukha received 4,050 postal ballots from 4,360 registered PB. Out of which 203 were rejected or deemed invalid.
Likewise, other nominees Damcho Gyeltshen from Loggchina secured 4,141 votes, Hem Prasad from Phuentsholing secured 2078 and Tandin Wangchuk from Phuentsholing Thromde got 999 votes.
Tshering Pelden Thimphu