Neten Dorji

The number of votes People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won in the Bumdeling-Jamkhar could be symbolic if not ominous. With 2,024 votes, PDP won the constituency as they head for the general round in January 2024.

However, Trashiyangtse is up for grabs for both PDP and the  Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) with each winning a constituency in the primaries. PDP won Bumdeling-Jamkhar with 407  voters more than BTP who got the second maximum votes.

BTP got the maximum votes, 2,463 in the other constituency, Khamdang-Ramjar, winning 768 votes more than second place PDP. The PDP in the Bumdeling-Jamkhar won both on postal ballot and EVM. It also received more postal ballots, 1,059 in the Khamdang-Ramjar constituency, but could not beat BTP who won more votes on the EVM.

From the voting pattern, Yangtseps are with PDP and BTP. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) who lost the constituency to Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa in a bye-election made some inroads with 999 votes to come third. DNT  came fourth with 724 and Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa came fifth with 334.

In Bumdeling-Jamkhar, DPT won 1,456 votes to come third making it possible to topple PDP if they form an informal coalition or work together to outdo PDP. DNT and DTT fared poorly winning only 573 and 554 votes respectively.

Voters said it was time for change with a strong opposition. A voter from Bumdeling gewog said that for a smooth functioning of democracy giving equal chance to new parties was important.

“We never know who will form the government and what new parties have to offer to us,” he said. 

A female voter from Yangtse gewog said that she will vote for the party that promises to bring rural development.

Although voters vote for parties, most of them said that two parties won from Bumdeling-Jamkhar and Khamdang-Jamkhar constituencies because of the candidates. “Many of us look for the capability of candidates and their pledges,” said a voter. “Political parties also need capable candidates if they want to win from constituencies.” 

The voter turnout in the primary round in Trashiyangtse was around 59  percent. Of the 20,994 registered voters, 12,457 turned up to vote in the 36 polling stations set up in the two constituencies.