KP Sharma

Leki Tshering worked hard to gain the NC seat from Thimphu. He kept in touch with the voters and identified himself with the commons. And he won the 2023 NC elections.

After the 2018 NC election, Leki Tshering did not give up. He worked in tourism industry for a few years. When the tourism industry was badly hit by the pandemic, he walked back to his village and ventured into farming.

Voters say that his common touch helped him win.

“People feel that he understands the problems at grassroots level as he has experienced it personally,” said one of the voters.

The candidate who understands the reality facing the voters would represent well in Parliament.

There was a time when people’s representatives could make a whole lot of difference to individuals and communities. NC representatives today cannot play the same role in a democratic set up.

For some communities, it is taking turns to field in candidates and elect representatives—one day a Dasho will come from your household, too.

If this becomes a trend in Bhutan’s democratic landscape, democracy itself is on the cusp of deep review.

“While Nima Gyaltshen was confident and more convincing, Leki Tshering presented himself with more maturity and simplicity,” said Wangdi, a voter.

Voters did not like Nima Gyalsthen’s overconfidence.

Tashi Dawa, a voter from Zilukha, said that people voted for a new representative because they want to see new ideas and change. “We expect changes in some laws. We need positive and significant development.”

Many voters even say Nima Gyaltshen betrayed their trust. “That is why we went for a new candidate.”

Out of the 16,429 registered voters in Thimphu, Leki Tshering received 4,102 votes to win the seat. Nima Gyaltshen secured 3,046 votes—744 postal ballots and 2,302 EVM votes.