Trashigang is the only dzongkhag where two ministers lost in the recent primary round.
The People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) move to garner support from Trashigang by taking in Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s candidates in 2013 and giving them ministers’ portfolios did not help change the people’s support for Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT).
DPT swept all five constituencies in the dzongkhag, removing the two former ministers of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The dzongkhag with the highest voters in the country supported DPT and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) to sail through the primary election on September 15.
Of the five constituencies, Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong, represented by former education minister, Norbu Wangchuk, recorded the highest (7,482) votes. However, PDP came third with 1,941 votes in the constituency.
While PDP managed to secure the second place on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) votes (1,161), the party managed only 780 votes on the postal ballots placing it on the third place.
DPT secured the highest (1,462) votes on the EVM and DNT received 1,300 postal ballots, the highest in the constituency.
A voter in Kanglung said it was unexpected for the former minister to lose in his own constituency. “After all the works he had done for us, it is unfortunate that people didn’t support him,” he said. “But I’m confident of the two parties who would be forming the new government and opposition.”
Despite being considered a DPT stronghold, Trashigang did deviate on the votes in Thrimshing constituency in 2013.
Former works and human settlement minister and PDP candidate Dorji Choden, who also contested as the president of DNT in 2013 primary election and later joined PDP, lost in the constituency this time.
With 806 votes from 2,084, PDP topped the EVM votes. However, postal ballots swung the overall results from the constituency. From 2,859 postal ballots, PDP secured 717 votes.
Also from the 10 polling stations in the constituency, PDP secured the highest votes in five stations followed by DPT winning in four stations and DNT in one.
A voter in Trashigang said, “Going by the past experience, I think Aum Dorji Choden would join one of the two winning parties and come back as a minister,” he said.
Younten Tshedup | Trashigang