A few days before the country went to poll, rumours were ripe that majority of the voters in the Maenbi-Tshenkhar constituency, one of the two constituencies in remote Lhuentse are with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

It was because the constituency was a PDP stronghold in 2013 where the former agriculture minister, Yeshi Dorji was contesting from.

However, when the election results were declared, to many people’s surprise, the result turned out to be another way round. Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) won the constituency with 1,037 votes in the EVM voting. PDP managed only second position with 713 votes from the EVM. DNT came third with 685 and BKP got 179 votes.

In the postal ballot, DNT won the constituency with 935 votes, 21 votes higher than DPT, which secured 914 votes DPT won 1,951 votes in total.

Except for Maedtso gewog, PDP lost in all three of the four gewogs of Jarey, Maenbi, and Tsaenkhar to DPT and Tsaenkhar gewog to DNT.

The former agriculture minister, a popular figure in the dzongkhag, was taken aback when the results poured in.  A voter from Tangmachhu said, she never thought Yeshi Dorji would lose from his constituency. Yeshey Dorji refused to comment.

“He had brought so many unplanned developments like road, farm machineries, farm house and so on. He’d done a lot for Kurmed (lower Kuri area) and that was the gratitude he got in return,” she said.

However, in Gangzur-Minjey constituency, the results of the elections were as predicted. The constituency went for change and voted for DNT, which secured the highest EVM votes with 1,043 votes. In the postal ballot, DNT won two gewogs of Gangzur and Minjey.

DPT won Khoma gewog and PDP won Kurtoed gewog in the constituency.

Among the new political parties, people went for DNT mainly because of the popularity of the party president and his pledge of narrowing the gap, particularly in the health field.

“All other parties have similar pledges which are mostly to expand the existing services, but DNT has mostly new pledges, so this will be more helpful to us,” said Zangmo, 62, from Kurtoe.

As we grow old, we need a government who care about health facility at our doorstep because going to other places is expensive, ” a 65-year-old voter from Wambur said.

Meanwhile,  196 postal ballots were rejected. Of them, 95 got rejected at the time of opening envelope A, while 103 were rejected from the envelope B.

The people of Lhuentse voted in the 33 polling stations across the dzongkhag.

Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse