Yangyel Lhaden

In Tsirang, if the indicator is premised on the results of the primary election, then it may not be difficult to guess the outcome for the General Election as well. 

At the primary election, PDP secured a landslide victory in the two constituencies – Sergithang-Tsirangtoe and Kilkhorthang-Mendrelgang, with over 4,000 votes in each constituency, surpassing Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) by more than fourfold.

PDP secured 4,206 votes, BTP secured 1,023 votes, and the remaining three parties got 2,530 votes in total. 

As a result, for BTP to win in Tsirang, it needs to win over the voters of PDP itself, in addition to voters and supporters of other parties, says an observer. 

But for now, the voters do not want to give any indication as to which party they would support.

“Election period is fun,” says Kinley, 60. “I wonder how my village will vote because the party they voted for in the primary election is out of the race now. Let’s see whether they will decide to ride the horse or the elephant.”

He added that Tsirang has always supported a winning party in the past. 

Whereas, 70- year old Tshering Dema from Goomsoom gewog, said it is a matter of luck. “Since more voters are elderly, there are chances they might get confused with the logos and end up voting for candidates they did not intend to support,” she reasoned. 

“I have been a keen observer over the years what each government have done and I have made my mind whom to vote for the general round,” Tshering Dema said

But, she said, having five parties for the primary election was too much for a small country and a waste of government resources. “There needs to be a screening process, and some parties are less known to people, which leads to fragmented votes.”

During the first election, people formed groups to support different parties, and made it difficult to mobilise the community, to give and receive assistance, among supporters of different parties, recalls Tshering Dema.  

Whatever the outcome, the residents of Tsirang were excitedly looking forward to the poll day.