The Zhemgang election result could depend on which party the supporters of the two parties that exited the primary round, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), supports.
The supporters of BKP and PDP are tightlipped, leaving the party workers and coordinators of Druk Phunsum Tshogpa (DPT) and Druk Nyamrum Tshogpa (DNT) unable to predict the upcoming election’s outcome.
Panbang constituency’s DPT supporter, Karma, said it would be difficult to predict the result this time, as the same candidates who contested in the 2013 general round are contesting again.
DPT’s candidate, Dorji Wangdi, won with 42 more votes in 2013 over DNT’s candidate, Tshering, who then contested for PDP.
Tshering, in an earlier interview, said that it would be difficult to change the mindset of the people in lower Kheng, as they have been core supporters of DPT.
However, he has urged the voters of the two parties, BKP and PDP, to vote for him.
In 2013, Tshering contested for DNT in the primary round, switched to PDP in the general round and lost to Dorji Wangdi.
“Some people in the constituency are never changing their mind, despite no developments in their chiwogs in the past,” Tshering said.
Panbang’s DNT party representative, Jambay Choeda, said they have focused more on their pledges to give room for the public to change their mind.
He said they have sought support from the supporters of BKP and PDP to align with DNT but can’t say anything.
DPT dzongkhag coordinator, Dorji Wangchuk, in an earlier interview said the party is confident to win from both the constituencies. “Unless voters change their mind, we have good support.”
Although rumors are spreading in the small town of Zhemgang that the supporters of PDP and BKP are now supporting DNT, the party’s dzongkhag coordinator Japhag Dorji is not certain.
He said people say anything and spread rumors.
PDP’s dzongkhag coordinator, Lhakpa Dorji, said he has no right to ask his supporters to vote for any party. “There is a law that restricts us from doing such things.”
He said that since PDP is out of the race, he told the voters to vote as per their wish.
DPT’s Bardo-Trong candidate Gyambo Tshering will contest against DNT’s Sonam Leki.
Although people are reluctant to come on record, there have been rumors going on that some influential people are calling party supporters to change their mind.
A woman in Dungbi village said she received a call from a man insisting her to change her party support this time. She refused to give details of the person who called her.
A total of 8,558 people voted in the primary round in the dzongkhag.
Tashi Tenzin | Zhemgang