Those that fell

A glimpse into prominent figures who could not make it

Elections are remembered for different reasons. Apart from others, the 2024 general elections for the National Assembly (NA) was a multifaceted political event with new guns out-running the old and experienced ones. It saw fresh entrants and others in the political arena, outdoing the seasoned ones.

The first woman minister of democratic Bhutan, Dasho Dorji Choden representing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from Thrimshing-Kangpara constituency in Trashigang was defeated by 237 votes. A former lawyer, fresh in the political world, Damche Tenzin of the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) beat her at the polls.

She was not the only giant of the PDP to fall. Yeshey Dorji, former minister of the agriculture and forest ministry, who represented PDP from the Maenbi-Tshenkhar constituency was defeated by 234 votes. However, the former minister could have some respite and consolation in the fact that his opponent was not a rookie. BTP’s Tempa Dorji, a former NC member was victorious in the constituency.

Similarly, PDP’s Sonam Penjor from Kengkhar-Weringla constituency, Mongar, another prominent figure in the political world had to bow out at the hands of a recruit – BTP’s Dorji Wangmo.

It wasn’t just the PDP who encountered such blows. The BTP also had their share. The party’s vice president and former National Council (NC) member, Pema Tenzin from Bongo-Chapcha constituency lost to PDP’s Pemba.

The same fate awaited BTP’s Tshering Dorji of Bji-Kar-tshog-Uesu constituency in Haa dzongkhag. The former deputy chairperson of the NC lost to PDP’s Lhendup Wangdi, another new face in Bhutan’s electoral circles.

Following him was Jigme Wangchuk, the party’s representative from Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency in Samdrup Jongkha. The candidate, who was unbeaten in his three stints as NC member of the district had to taste defeat at the hands of PDP’s   Younten Phuntsho.

Yet another prominent figure from BTP, who fell at the hands of a novice in politics was Tshering Dorji of Kabisa Talog constituency in Punakha. He was beaten by PDP’s Namgay Dorji.

Dechen Choden from Thimphu