Neten Dorji | Trashigang 

For many in Trashiyangtse, the fourth National Council elections results or the fate of the incumbent NC member was decided even before the Election Commission of Bhutan announced the elections. He did not stand a chance.

Many voters Kuensel talked to said that the incumbent NC member Karma Gyeltshen had his chance to serve and that another person deserved the opportunity. So the final results on the poll day were not a surprise for many.

The incumbent NC member got 1,350 votes and was fourth among the five candidates who ran for the NC seat to represent the dzongkhag.

The only difficulty for the voters was that the newcomers were equally good.

Sonam Tenzin, candidate of Khamdang Gewog, and the NC MP-elect, according to voters, did well in the common forums, and the public debate on live television. He received good feedback from voters after the public debate.

Some voters said that the incumbent and Ngawang Tashi emerged as equally strong candidates at these forums.

There were other reasons why Sonam Tenzin emerged triumphant.

A farmer from Yallang Gewog said that he came for a door-to-door campaign and frequently interacted with the villagers. “We thought he would be in a position to understand rural problems.”

Some of the voters in Doksum said, during the common forum and public debate, Sonam Tenzin specifically talked about reviewing the laws and holding consultations to restart the Kholongchu hydropower project to Trashiyangtse.

“We chose him because we trusted him to deliver what he said during common forums and public debate, but if he fails to deliver, we need to decide in the next election,” said a villager from Jamkhar.

Another advantage Sonam Tenzin had over other candidates was his gewog. He was nominated by Khamdang Gewog, which has the highest number of registered voters in the dzongkhag.

MP-elect Sonam Tenzin said that there is no shortcut to winning an election.

“How you deal with public matters in elections. If you explain to the public well, this is what helps them choose at last,” said the 36-year-old. “Door-to-door introduction and interaction also helped me.”

Sonam Tenzin secured the maximum number of both on the EVM ( 2,100) and postal ballots (1,524).

He said rather than campaigning, he has been explaining the roles of the National Council and the concept of House of Review during common forums and public debate.

“This is the third time, I was in front of the public. Now, I am very much confident that I will make people’s voices reach the highest level,” said Sonam Tenzin. “People of Trashiyangtse trust me with this mandate, now I will work harder.”