Ministership could have been a factor in Draagteng-Langthel constituency

Breaking Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) stronghold, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) won the Nubi-Tangsibji constituency in Trongsa this time.

DNT is represented by Yeshey Penjor and DPT by Nidup Zangpo, who has represented the constituency as a member of the parliament (MP) for two continuous terms.

People in Trongsa, who followed the election closely, said Yeshey Penjor had the advantage of being the lone candidate to contest from Tangsibji gewog, while the other candidates were from Nubi gewog.

Of the 11 polling stations (PS) in the constituency, he won by a huge margin from Kela School, Nyala-Drangla ORC and Tangsibji GC PS. In Tshangkha CS polling station, he secured equal votes of 24 each with Nidup Zangpo. He also secured equal votes of 39 each with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Phuntsho Dendup, in Chendibji School PS.

Yeshey Penjor secured a total of 1,150 votes. With 496 ballots, he got the highest postal ballots.

People in Trongsa said Yeshey Penjor, who contested in the 2013 primary election from DNT, worked hard in the last five years, helping villagers and attending all community functions.

Some also say the ‘Dr Lotay effect’ helped him garner votes. “Many people from Bji were DPT supporters before but some changed to DNT after listening to Dr Lotay,” a resident, Pema, said.

Meanwhile, Nidup Zangpo, who secured 136 less votes than Yeshey Penjor, is still dominant in Nubi gewog, where the vote base is larger than Tangsibji gewog.

He won from four polling stations of Bemji School, Bjizam School, Sherubling CS and Sinphu School with a huge margin.

Trongsaps refer to Nidup Zangpo as a matured politician, who raises issues in the NA when necessary and for asking tough questions.

Some residents, however, feel he didn’t do much for the constituency.

A villager from Kela said they are in dire need of farm road maintenance but their MP didn’t do anything about it. “Our children have to go to Tshangkha and we requested a bus service. They initially granted our request but stopped it.”

Phuntsho Dendup, who worked as manager of Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL) in Trongsa before joining PDP was deemed popular, as he dealt with most people in the constituency.

But the candidate only won at Jongthang polling station where he secured 56 votes. He lost in his own polling station in Karzhong School.

The Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) candidate, Karma Yeshey, secured the least vote in the constituency.

Except for his own polling station in Karzhong School, where he secured the highest votes (56), he also lost in all polling stations.

People say both the PDP and BKP candidates, who are from the same chiwog, declared their candidature late.

“PDP candidate could have lost because of the anti-incumbency factor and the party never won from the constituency,” a resident said. “The BKP candidate did not have representatives, forget party workers, in many chiwogs.”

Meanwhile, in Draagteng-Langthel constituency, the PDP candidate, Namgay Dorji, won again although he wouldn’t be contesting in the general election.

He, however, won only by six more votes than DNT candidate, Gyem Dorji

He won in five polling stations of Yuendrocholing, Langthel School, Balling School, Nyimzhong School and Nabi School of the 11 in the constituency.

People say he could have won because he was the former finance minister and the first minister from the dzongkhag.

Gyem Dorji, who contested as the National Council candidate, came second after securing the highest postal ballot votes of 483 and winning in five polling stations.

Trongsa residents say he became familiar to people during the NC campaigning and also had the advantage of being from Samcholing, the highest vote bank in the constituency.

The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa candidate, Ugyen Namgyel, who is also from Langthel, only secured the highest vote in Langthel School polling station.

Many say he had the disadvantage of being from the same gewog with Namgay Dorji. Residents say many people supported DPT in the first election but they switched sides in 2013 and this time.

The BKP candidate, Karma Galay, had the advantage of being the lone candidate from Korphu gewog, another vote bank in the constituency but he secured the least vote.

Ugyen Dorji