The National Council (NC) elections on April 20, 2023, saw the contestant from Trashigang, Sonam Tobgyel, emerging as the candidate winning with the highest number of votes. Sonam Tobgyel, 43, from Phongmey gewog in Trashigang, secured 12,958 votes, the maximum among the 20 NC elects.
Out of the total votes received by Sonam Tobgay, 8,032 were through Postal Ballot (PB), while 4,926 were through Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). Trashigang district has one of the highest number of registered voters in the country, with 52,177 eligible voters across 71 polling stations, spread across 15 gewogs and 79 chiwogs. Political observers say that the huge number of votes that Sonam Tobgyel received could be attributed to the number of voters. Sonam Tobgay received 24.8% of the overall votes from the district.
Following closely behind Sonam Tobgyel is Sangay Dorji, the NC elect from Chukha and the incumbent member. Sangay Dorji, from Bongo gewog in Chukha, received a total of 7,958 votes, with 2,504 through PB and 5,454 through EVM.
Chukha has 65 polling stations across 11 gewogs, with a total of 28,022 registered voters. Sangay Dorji was able to secure 28.3% of the overall votes in the district. Thus, in terms of percentage, he beat Trashigang’s Sonam Tobgay.
Meanwhile, Gasa dzongkhag, which has the lowest number of registered voters in the country with just 2,279 eligible voters, saw the votes divided evenly between two contestants.
The NC elect from Khatoe gewog, Tshering, secured 986 votes and faced a tough competition from the incumbent member, Dorji Khandu, who secured 806 votes. Gasa has 11 polling stations across four gewogs.
Overall, the NC elections saw a significant turnout, with voters casting their ballots through PB and EVM. The results have been welcomed by the winning candidates and their supporters, while the other contestants have graciously accepted the outcome and congratulated the winners.
Tshering Pelden from Thimphu