YK Poudel

All four People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in Samtse won respective seats in the National Assembly riding on their oath to bring socio-economic development and improve the poverty rate in the dzongkhag. 

With a total of 53,667 registered voters (male 27,774, female 25,893), Samtse in the south west has one the highest voters in the country.

The overall turnover for this election was 68.87 percent with 19,745 male and 17,213 female voters casting their votes. 

Om Prasad Ghalley, one of the voters from Phuentshopelri-Samtse constituency, said that now that the winner is officially declared they expect the party to fulfil their pledges. 

“Economic recovery at a grass root level is what we expect to be developed. There are interested youth groups to work on agriculture and livestock, carpentry and crafts and interested to venture into new businesses—supporting them policy wise and fund assistance will definitely boost the local economy,” he said.

DN Dhungyel, Phuentshopelri Samtse constituency, who secured victory with a 68.6 percent win obtaining 5,912 votes said that economic recovery in the constituency and the dzongkhag is his prime focus. 

“I am overwhelmed to see such support, the trust and faith the voters have in me, is a collective effort of each individual voter, coordinators, and the party as a whole,” he said. 

“Samtse has several developmental works going on yet thus far the poverty analysis shows Samtse as the poorest—I will prioritise developing the entrepreneurial skills for the youths and ensure adequate support to them,” he said. This would take time but certainly engage them meaningfully thereby helping the dzongkhag grow in the years to come. 

Prithiman Gurung, 104, the oldest voter in Tashichhoeling and the dzongkhag said that it looked like both the parties had similar manifestos but choosing the government that would help the nation was important. 

“I have taken part in all four elections and have seen the nation since the 1930s when Bhutan was still isolated. Equal regional development should be given importance,” he said. 

Similarly, his son Bal Bahadur Gurung from Singaygang said that community development is stated as one of the central focuses of the party. “At this extreme south west region, we expect that the government gives hope for the people—the poverty situation is doing bad as we have heard in reports.”

Sangay Khandu, the MP elect securing 64.8 percent of the votes—a total of 6,478 votes in Tashichhoeling constituency with gratitude to the constituents said that the voters have elected him with hope and he will live up to their demands. “The party as the government has delivered its promises even in the past—that we expect to reach again across the nation this tenure as well.”

“I aim to comprehend the issues of my constituents, foster sustainable and inclusive development, ensuring no one is left behind. My goal is to identify local potentials and translate them into opportunities, breaking the cycle of poverty and elevating livelihoods,” he said.

Ugyentse-Yoeseltse MP-elect, Dimple Thapa, said that she was a strong and confident candidate to have won the general elections. “It’s attributed to committed coordinators and supporters. It was evident from the support our party received in the primary election as well.”

“I am honoured and blessed to have received immense love and support—the party manifesto has encapsulated people’s concerns extensively and attracted voters,” she said.