Family members of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) president had gathered at the Babesa polling station hours before the voting started. Five were called in to witness the mock election. The election officers ask them to vote for both the candidates, as it was a mock election to test the machines.

When the result of the mock election was counted, DNT got four. It was an indication of what was to come.

DNT’s president and South-Thimphu candidate, Lotay Tshering won with 3,662 votes against DPT’s Kinley Tshering got 1,978.

Having to campaign in other parts of the country, Lotay Tshering could not attend any of the common forums in the constituency. He held only one campaign meeting with his constituents. Despite his absence from the constituency, the surgeon got more votes in the general elections and enjoyed a lead of more than 846 votes.

In the primary elections, Lotay Tshering secured 2,816 votes out of 5,592 votes cast.DPT candidate Kinley Tshering got 1,173.

In the north, the margin of win was much narrower. DNT’s Dechen Wangmo maintained her lead in the primary elections over one of DPT’s vice presidents Lily Wangchuk. She secured 2,276 and Lily Wangchuk got 2,102.      

In the primary election, Lily Wangchuk got 1,134 votes and Dechen Wangmo obtained 1,211 votes. However, Dechen Wangmo managed to earn more votes in the general round getting 1,065 votes more, while Lily Wangchuk got more 968 votes.

Of the 9,810 voters from Thimphu who voted during the primary round of the National Assembly elections, 4,027 voted for DNT. This increased to 5,640 votes in the general elections.

The 42-year-old who is one of DNT’s five women candidates, has a masters degree in public health. She co-founded Bhutan Cancer Society with Dr Ugyen Tshomo, a Gynae-oncologist in JDWNRH.

“We are extremely happy and blessed with the outcome of this historic election and would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Bhutan for trusting us with the sacred gyenkhu (responsibility) to serve the Tsawa-sum with utmost sincerity and dedication,” Dechen Wangmo said.

“We would also like to extend our appreciation to PDP, BKP and DPT for their dedication in strengthening our democratic institution.”

A voter from Dalukha, Lotay Tshering’s village, Sangay Wangchuk said that voting was not for short-term gains.

“We need to choose someone who can enhance our sovereignty and independence as a nation,” he said. 

Tshering Palden | Thimphu