Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) is back. Enduring three elections and making it through the primaries on two different occasions, the party is back with a bang.

The party, which formed the first democratic government and second Opposition, will again form the either next month. For DPT, anti-incumbency was not a concern at least in the primaries.

Going by the provisional results, a total of 90,020 voters from 291,098 who turned up to vote chose DPT.

While the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) secured 2,702 more votes than DPT in the overall results, DPT won in 22 constituencies against 16 for the peach blossom. In the 2013 primaries, DPT won 33 constituencies.

The party’s strength in the eastern dzongkhags was reconfirmed as it swept all the constituencies in Trashigang, Samdrupjongkhar, Mongar, Pemagatshel, Trashiyantse, Zhemgang and Bumthang. The party also won one constituency each in Paro, Samtse and Lhuentse.

As the results were being broadcast live on the television, many Bumthang residents including the DPT president gathered at a resort near Chamkhar. Unable to accommodate in the hall, a projector screen was set up in the parking. “We are very happy with the results,” a resident said.

Among the crowd, the President, Pema Gyamtsho was bombarded with congratulatory messages, phone calls and greetings from passerby.

“The result was both expected and unexpected,” said the DPT president. “We went to the polls with an open mind and we were prepared for any kind of results,” he added.

Pema Gyamtsho said DPT is humbled and touched by the tremendous support from across the society. “We offer our sincere gratitude to the people.”

As for his own constituency in Bumthang, Pema Gyamtsho said that he was confident to win. “I want to thank the people of Bumthang,” he said.

He also expressed his appreciation and congratulated all the party presidents for actively participating in the democratic process and coming forward to serve the Tsa Wa Sum. “I also want to congratulate DNT for making to the general round,” he said.

On whether the party would switch candidates, the president said there is no such thing as horse-trading. “We will not exchange any candidates from any of the three parties,” he said.

Only if our own candidates back out voluntarily, he said, the party might consider bringing in candidates who are not with or affiliated to other parties.

Before heading to the general round, DPT intends to seek few clarifications from the DNT and Election Commission to avoid misunderstanding. This, the president said is to abide by the command of His Majesty, Constitution and electoral laws to ensure free and fair elections.

“If no other factors come into play, DPT has a good chance in the general round,” he said.

Tshering Dorji| Bumthang