Chencho Dema

The voters of Punakha have historically shaped the political landscape, consistently supporting the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) since 2013.

The question now is whether this loyalty will persist in the upcoming general elections or if the new Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) will gain traction.

Primaries 2013

In Punakha, PDP secured a significant number of votes, becoming the dzongkha’s top choice to advance to the 2013 general election, with Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) coming in second.

PDP got a total of 4,101 votes, with 3,411 from electronic voting machines (EVMs) and 690 from postal ballots. DPT garnered 3,037 votes, with 2,646 via EVMs and 391 from postal ballots.

The other two parties, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT), received a combined total of 1,433 and 306 votes, respectively.


During the primary round in 2018, Punakha witnessed a total of 11,977 people casting votes in the Lingmukha-Toedwang and Kabisa-Talo constituencies.

In the Lingmukha-Toedwang constituency, DNT’s Tandin Dorji secured victory, while in Kabisa-Talo, PDP emerged as the top choice.


PDP and BTP secured places in the next general round by winning the Lingmukha-Toedwang and Kabisa-Talo constituencies. PDP won both constituencies convincingly, with Kabji-Talo going to PDP with 3,674 votes, and Lingmukha-Toedwang seeing PDP secure 1,888 votes.

In the general round, Namgay Wangchuk of PDP and Gyambo Sithey of BTP will compete from the Lingmukha-Toedwang constituency. In Kabji-Talo, a competitive contest is expected between Namgyal Dorji of PDP and Tshering Dorji of BTP.


Political observers suggest that BTP will need to put in more effort to win over voters in the western and southern regions.

Additionally, BTP candidates in these areas must actively engage with their constituents to secure support.

A voter based in Australia notes that PDP is likely to present the choice between voting for the ruling party or the opposition, emphasising the crucial decision voters face.

Reflecting on past general rounds, Druk Nyumrup Tshogpa triumphed in 2018, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa in 2008, and PDP in 2013.

The question for 2024 is whether the elephant, symbolizing the BTP, will prevail.