Yangchen C Rinzin | Bumthang

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) candidate Dawa won the bye-election by a landslide (2,889) votes on November 19 from Chhoekhor-Tang constituency.

Dawa swept nine out of 11 polling stations.

This is the same constituency where former Opposition Leader Pema Gyamtsho (Phd) had won consecutively for the third time and had remained DPT stronghold.

Pema Gyamtsho, in 2018, won the third parliamentary election by landslide 3,251 votes, swiping10 of the 11 polling stations. Dawa won only from his polling station, Khangrab and that too with only with the difference of eight votes.

This time, Dawa secured 371 of the 474 votes from Khangrab polling station.

Voters said they voted based on the candidate, not the party.

Voters from nine polling stations that voted for Pema Gyamtsho in 2018 voted for Dawa this time, including Tang polling station where Pema Gyamtsho hails from.

Dawa secured 105 of the 199 votes from Tang.

A voter from Tang said that the people voted for Dr Pema Gyamtsho in the previous election hoping that he could become the prime minister if DPT wins.

Gyeltshen from Chamkhar said that what villagers need the most was road and the only representative in the ruling could provide that. “Dawa was the natural choice.”

Tenzin Norbu secured 371 EVM votes from Dhur polling station where his father is from and 256 votes from Kharsa polling station where his mother is from. Going by the votes, Tenzin had won only by 15 votes in Dhur and 42 in Kharsa where the former opposition leader had won by majority votes in these polling stations.

Two of the three farm roads that Dawa has promised to blacktop are in these two villages.

Tenzin Norbu lost from his own polling station, Wangdicholing, with only 180 votes. Dawa secured 301 votes from Wangdicholing.

Sangay, a voter from Chhoekhor, said it was not about party but about getting a road. “I know the road needs a blacktopping in that area and Dawa is a strong candidate right now like Pema Gyamtsho was before.”

Residents said that voters took Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering’s advice. He is supposed to have told the people that former opposition leader would appreciate the people of Chhoekhor-Tang have gone for candidate and not party.

Of the 6,219 registered voters, 4,596 cast their vote—1,281 through postal ballots.