Bumthang held on with the cranes because of the leadership Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) has in Pema Gyamtsho, the Chhoekhor-Tang candidate.

Even before the polls, a majority of people expected him to win by a huge margin. Pema Gyamtsho secured more than double the votes Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s candidate (DNT) Dawa won.

In the primaries, DPT won almost thrice the votes DNT secured.

Pema Gyamtsho’s vote increased from 2,540 in the primary round to 3,251, an increase of 28 percent. Dawa’s vote increased by 66 percent from 921 to 1,536.

This could be the movement of voters who voted for People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) in the primaries.

In absolute numbers, Pema Gyamtsho has won in all the polling stations except for one in Khangrab Primary School where Dawa won by eight votes. In the rest of the polling stations, the margin was as high as 245 votes.

Had DPT formed the government, Pema Gamtsho was seen as the Prime Ministerial candidate. This factor played a crucial role in his win.

“If the cranes had won, the Prime Minister would hail from Bumthang,” a Chamkhar resident said.

Now that the DPT is in opposition, Pema, a shopkeeper is worried whether Chamkhar would ever get a chance to see a better town.

In Chhumig-Ura, postal ballot has yet again decided DPT’s Karma Wangchuk win. DNT’s Phuntsho Namgey won on the EVM with 1,010 votes against Karma Wangchuk’s 863.

From the eight polling stations, Karma Wangchuk won only in two. However, a difference 165 votes was made by postal ballot.

In the primaries, DPT lost on EVM to PDP by 48 votes. However, it led the postal ballot by 122 votes.

Bumthang saw a voter turnout of 77.6 percent.

Tshering Dorji | Bumthang