After the provisional results of the general election were broadcast on the evening of October 18, people of Kabisa gewog in Punakha agreed that the election result is something that nobody can predict.
Kabisa had equal support for Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), according to voters Kuensel talked to. It was assumed that DPT would form the government this time.
“In the primary round, we thought DNT and PDP would get through but DPT gave us a surprise,” said one of the voters. “In the general round, we thought DPT would form the government but DNT won.”
DNT went on to win both the constituencies in Punakha.
In the primary round, PDP secured the highest number of votes at 2,738, about 454 votes more than DNT who came second in Kabisa-Talo constituency. DPT came third with a vote difference of 1,091.
A total of 3,377 voters voted for PDP and BKP in the primary round.
In the general round, DPT secured an additional 1,266 and DNT 2,010 votes. Going by this, about 61 percent of the people who voted for BKP and PDP in the primary round voted for DNT’s Tshencho Wangdue in the general election making him the new elect representative of Kabisa-Talo.
On the EVM, while both the candidates of Kabisa-Talo won from their own gewogs, Tshencho Wangdue, 33, got an overwhelming support from his gewog Talo. Of about 733 people from Talo who voted in the gewog’s three polling stations, Tshencho Wangdue secured 610 votes.
About 655 of 1,406 eligible voters in Barp gewog voted in the two polling stations. DPT’s Kinley Wangchuk, 43, secured 95 more votes from his gewog than Tshencho Wangdue.
The postal votes also played a role in Tshencho Wangdue’s win. He secured a total of 1,392 postal votes against Kinley Wangchuk 678 postal votes.
For Lingmukha-Toedwang constituency in Punakha, the general election result was a repeat of the primary round.
The voters chose DNT’s candidate Tandi Dorji, one of the party’s founders over DPT’s Sonam Wangyel Wang.
Tandi Dorji said the general election results were beyond his expectations. “We are grateful that the people have won.”
As for him winning, Tandi Dorji said it could be because people knew him as he had contested in the elections since 2008. “They know I have worked hard.”
The party’s manifesto, its vision to narrow the gap, which people related to and the party’s priority for health, are some of factors for Punakha choosing DNT over DPT in the general election.
Sonam Wangyal Wang also contested in the 2013 election but lost.
In the primary round, Tandi Dorji, 50, who was also one of the main founders of DNT secured the highest number of votes at 1,985. DPT’s candidate from Lingmukha-Toedwang, Sonam Wangyel Wang, 48, secured 1337 and came second.
Sonam Wangyel Wang said the result was not as he expected. Although he doesn’t understand the reason why people in Punakha chose DNT over DPT, he said he accepts the fact that the people would have made their best judgment.
In the primary round, about 1,801 voters from the constituency voted for the two parties who did not qualify for the general election – BKP and PDP.
In the general round, DNT’s Tandi Dorji secured 1,169 more votes than what he secured in the primary round. Similarly, DPT’s Sonam Wangyel Wang secured 745 more votes.
Like in Kabisa-Talo constituency, about 61 percent of the voters who supported BKP and PDP voted for Tandi Dorji in the general election.
Of the 3,154 votes Tandi Dorji secured in the general election, 1,030 were postal votes. Sonam Wangyel Wang secured 1,657 EVM and 425 postal votes.
Punakha, which has 16,950 eligible voters, saw a voter turnout of 70.7 percent.
Dechen Tshomo | Punakha