Sherab Lhamo 

A total of 26 women contested from five political parties in Thursday’s primary round of election for the National Assembly. However, 20 have exited the political arena.

The majority of female candidates hailed from Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), with seven candidates each.

Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa (DTT) had six candidates, while Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) fielded three candidates each.

Dorji Choden, a PDP candidate, demonstrated electoral dominance in Thrimshing, Trashigang, securing a total of 2,140 votes, comprising 726 from the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and 1,414 from postal ballots.

Another victorious PDP candidate, Dimple Thapa from Ugyentse Yoeseltse, Samtse, secured a total of 3,523 votes, with 2,592 from EVM and 931 from postal ballots.

In Khar-Yurung, Pemagatshel, DPT candidate Tshering Choden secured a total of 2,012 votes, with 691 from EVM and 1,321 from postal ballots.

Dimple Thapa emerged as the most successful among female candidates, and had surpassed the combined votes of all other parties in her constituency.

Dimple Thapa, a civil servant with a Masters in Mountain Forestry and 18 years of service, exhibited popular support.

On the other end of the spectrum, BTP’s Ugyen Dem from Khatoe Laya, Gasa, secured the lowest number of votes with a total of 90 (70 from EVM and 20 from postal ballots).

Following closely was Sonam Chenzom from Khamead-Lunana, Gasa, with 95 votes (76 from EVM and 19 from postal ballots).

Gasa witnessed a lower voter turnout of 1,718, compared to the 2018 election, which saw 2,064 voters participating.

Dorji Choden, a former minister with an engineering background, presented a formidable candidacy from Thrimshing.

The female candidates of BTP include Dorji Wangmo from Kengkhar-Weringla constituency, Ugyen Dem from Khatoe Laya, and Tshering Lhadon from Chumig-Ura.

Female candidates of PDP are Lekden Zangmo from Khar-Yurung constituency, Dorji Choden and Dimple Thapa.