As we head to the general round

Election is done but not dusted. The primary round of the third National Assembly is over. Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa came out victorious. For many the result of the election was a shocker. But then, for many others, the outcome of the September 15 election was indeed as they had seen would come to pass.

The primary election was significant in many ways. Female voters outnumbered male. A political party led by a woman had to concede a drubbing defeat. The overall voter turnout was at impressive 66.36 percent. There was a loud and clear message – the electorate preferred change to continuity. And, more importantly, there were lessons to take home.

There are certainly some stumbling blocks for the women in our society. Many do not see them as capable of outstanding or credible leadership. Political parties led by women have never won national election. But money is also a factor. If elections are to be won, no party can do with without the power of money. Taking money on the offer may be morally right but practically flawed for a political party. The truth is, money is what money does. Political campaigns can be difficult otherwise.

But then, the election also proved that money can’t buy votes.  For the electorate, development, security and unity far outweigh any promise personal gratification political parties put on the scale. A call for change so. It is not only remarkable but also deeply reassuring to read that the Bhutanese voters have high hopes from their elected representatives.

Following the formal declaration of the results of the primary round, the Election Commission of Bhutan has invited the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa to formally nominate a candidate each to contest in the general elections in the 47 constituencies. This sets in train preparation for the final round that will give Bhutan a government and an opposition.

The parties will continue to campaign for votes and election-related issues could arise in the heat of the moment. It is the responsibility of the people, therefore, to vote with solemn sense of responsibility.