Despite being penalised and suspended from campaigning by Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), Druk Phuenseum Tshogpa’s (DPT) Khar-Yurung candidate in Pemagatshel, Tshering Choden, won with the maximum number of votes.

She secured a total of 4,738 votes, of which 3,072 were postal ballots and 1,666 from EVM.

Tshering Choden said she had covered almost all the households in her constituency before ECB suspended her campaign.

“But people have supported and gave more votes to me than in the primary election because DPT’s manifesto is for long-term benefit of the people and the country,” she said.

She said that people also judge candidate’s character, qualification, capability and experiences, among others. “I am happy that people of my constituency have supported me although I had to go through so many odds,” Tshering Choden said.

Nganglam constituency’s Choida Jamtsho said he was confident and expected to win the election as people were happy because he fulfilled all his pledges during his tenure as ruling and opposition member. He secured a total of 3,576 votes.

“I expected that DPT will come into power, but I am satisfied with the result and people’s decision. We will serve as the strongest and best opposition in the parliament, and I will also work hard to fulfill all my pledges,” he said.

Nanong-Shumar’s DPT candidate, Lungten Namgyel, said everyone would expect to win in an election. “But I am happy people have supported me. People think that opposition members cannot bring developments in their dzongkhags and constituencies like ruling members. People should know that both opposition and ruling parties are equally important in the democracy and in the Parliament.”

DNT’s Khar-Yurung candidate, Ugyen Tshewang, said he was happy that his party would form government.

Nganglam’s DNT candidate was not available for comments. DNT’s Nanong-Shumar candidate, Pema Wangda, refused to comment.

Voters said that people ultimately choose and vote for those parties who benefit the people.

“We have new government that will serve the nation and that is good,” a voter said.

Kelzang Wangchuk  | Nganglam