The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) will form an even stronger Opposition in the third Parliament, the party president Pema Gyamtsho said.

Having formed the first democratically elected government in 2008, DPT will form the Opposition for the second time winning 17 of the 47 seats, which is an increase of two seats from 2013. This is the highest number of seats an Opposition party has ever won since 2008.

“The third Opposition will be very strong and we have very good candidates,” he said.

Pema Gyamtsho said that the party was prepared, right from the beginning, to embrace the results. “Elections are unpredictable and that it is the people’s decision. We respect that and we are very happy that our democracy is progressing without any major setback,” he said.

Pema Gyamtsho said that the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) is given the mandate to form the government and that he has no doubt that DNT would work towards bringing unity, prosperity and progress in the country. “I congratulate the DNT president and all its candidates.”

The DPT campaigned for economic self-reliance with emphasis on hydropower. The president said their pledges were futuristic in consideration to long-term prosperity and wellbeing of people and the country. “We believe that for a country to relish unprecedented prosperity and progress, a strong economy must set the footing to achieve self reliance,” he said.

Freebies and short-term goals, he said must be given with due consideration to its impact, necessity and rationale. The DPT, in its campaign questioned the rationale of DNT pledges like providing free WiFi, six months of allowance for the mothers, doing away with the cut off points of class X and exams for class VI. “We did our best but may be people couldn’t understand,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said the party has no regrets. “DPT was up against all odds,” he said adding that the result of the primaries was also unexpected. “We are grateful for the tremendous support and goodwill of the people,” he said.

The DPT, he said is privileged to have participated in democracy and is honored as the people have chosen the party to serve in the parliament for three consecutive times.

The party, according to the president has 47 strong, capable and experienced candidates. “Our hope was that all 47 would win,” he said. But, he said there are other factors, including the support base. “Whatever the fact may be, we respect the decision of the people,” he said.

The DPT, he said has already made history by getting an opportunity to serve in the parliament for the third consecutive time.

Tshering Dorji | Bumthang