The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) officially declared Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), which won 30 constituencies as the third elected government yesterday.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), which won in 17 constituencies, was declared the opposition party.

At a press conference held at the commission’s head office, it also declared the names of the candidates elected from the 47 constituencies.

Of the 47, seven are women candidates. This is the highest number of women candidates elected so far. In the past two elections, only four women candidates were elected each time to the National Assembly. In 2008, all four women candidates of DPT were elected. In 2013, three women candidate from People’s Democratic Party and one from DPT were elected.

Of the 47 member elects, one has a PhD, 26 a masters degree and the rest hold a bachelor’s degree. In terms of age, one is in the 20s, 14 in 30s, 13 in 50s and two in their 60s.

ECB stated that the general elections saw a total of 21 disputes of which 14 were related to social media and that all disputes and complaints were addressed on time.

“The unprecedented use of social media was marked by an overwhelming percentage of disputes and allegations being related in one way or other to social media,” the press release stated.

It stated that seven cases were dismissed for being baseless and four were received during the 48-hours no campaign period.

The media arbitrator’s office received nine complaints related to social media of which eight were investigated and forwarded to the commission and one was dismissed.

The media arbitrators also found 28 Facebook posts objectionable of which the originating user removed four and six were removed by Facebook authorities. “Despite repeated request by the Office of Media Arbitrator, the Facebook authorities did not remove 18,” ECB’s press release stated.

It also stated that during the general elections, the 20 social media monitors monitored 189 WeChat groups on a daily basis in the 47 constituencies.

ECB stated that the poll day did not encounter any problems. “No incidences were reported with regard to electronic voting machines (EVMs) in any of the polling stations.”

A total of 313,473 (159,319 females and 154,154 males) voters turned out to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice in the 47 constituencies, taking the voter turnout to 71.46 percent.

Of the total votes cast, 199,553 votes were cast in person on the EVMs in the 865 polling stations and 113,920 votes through postal ballots.

The chief election commissioner, Chogyal Dago Rigdzin, said a total of 797 postal ballots had to be rejected, which is about one percent rejection rate from the total postal ballots received.

The press release stated that 44 percent of the postal ballots rejections was mostly due to ballot paper left unmarked or not marked properly, 31 percent because of no identity declaration certificate or wrong VPIC and 25 percent with empty Envelope A or B and incompetent witness.

The election petition period of ten working days started yesterday and will end on November 6 at 4pm.

Tashi Dema