Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) president, Lotay Tshering, said that his party will form the government as it will win the general round of elections.

According to his party’s calculations, it is expected to win in at least 25 constituencies.

Lotay Tshering said that in the primary round, DPT won in 22 constituencies, DNT in 16, and People’s Democratic Party won in nine. “Of the 22 constituencies that DPT had won, DNT was close in the second position with the difference of a small margin in 18 of them.”

He said that on the other hand, in areas where DNT had won, DPT was third and there are a large number of vote differences and where PDP had won, DNT was second. “The party had consistent support across the country.”

Lotay Tshering said the key factor contributing to the success of the party this election, he said, would be the support of those who voted for PDP and BKP in the primary round.

He said that many of those supporters have switched their allegiance to DNT.

For instance, a PDP coordinator in Lamgong-Wangchang constituency in Paro confirmed his support the next day after PDP lost the primary round. “This person is close to me and I’ve operated on two times,” Lotay Tshering said. “He affirmed his support in the coming election.”

Likewise, he said other PDP supporters are switching to DNT, as they have been against DPT in the past two elections.

Lotay Tshering, who is on the tour to the six eastern dzongkhags where his party managed to win in only one constituency in the primary, said his Cabinet would be incomplete without a minister from eastern dzongkhags.

He said DNT is also hopeful of winning in Chumey-Ura in Bumthang and Dophuchen-Tading in Samtse constituencies where DPT had won in the primary round.

Lotay Tshering said the Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party’s (BKP) candidate is a cousin of DNT candidate and has now become the party’s coordinator in Ura.

BKP secured about 235 votes in the primary round, which the DNT president said are likely to come in favour of his candidate.

Lotay Tshering said that DNT has overwhelming support in the southern dzongkhags mainly from their advanced understanding of politics. DNT swept all the constituencies in the southern dzongkhags including two constituencies each in Tsirang, Sarpang, Dagana, and all the constituencies in Samtse except for Dophuchen-Tading constituency where DPT has won.

He said the huge support for his party in the primary elections validates the fact that health care services in the country need improvement.

Lotay Tshering has been explaining at the meetings in the dzongkhags that his party would narrow the gap through better health care services, raising the level of basic minimum education, and providing incentives for mothers to breastfeed their children for the first six months.

The only concern for the party is that none of its candidates won in the eastern dzongkhags.

Therefore, the party instead of consolidating and strengthening its chances in constituencies where it has won, the president began his campaign for the general elections from the eastern dzongkhags.

If the people of Mongar want a minister from their dzongkhag, Jigme Dorji is a better shot than the DPT candidate, he told the people of Balam and Shermuhung gewogs in Balam. “You know the members of the Opposition party have no way of becoming ministers,” Lotay Tshering said.

DNT president also clarified on increasing the national wage rate to Nu 450 from Nu 215 a day, hydropower, and the confusions about DNT pledges.

Lotay Tshering wrapped up his campaign of the east with three meetings in Lhuentse yesterday.

He thanked the people of Gangzur-Menjey constituency, which includes the birthplace of monarchy, Dungkar, for giving DNT the only victory in the eastern dzongkhags. “So it is auspicious and a sign that better results will follow in the east in the general round. It invigorates us.”

He said that while his party will focus on uplifting the lives of the poor, the other party is bent on doing it the other way. “We have to spread the benefits from hydropower projects equally among people.”

DNT president reached Ura yesterday and will campaign in Bumthang today.

 Tshering Palden | Lhuentse