PDP & BKP votes: game changer for the gen­er­als

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Chen­cho Dema

It has been ac­cepted by the two po­lit­i­cal par­ties, Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT), that the game changer for the gen­eral round will be the votes that they will garner from ear­lier Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) sup­port­ers.

In the pri­mary round, there was a dif­fer­ence of 644 votes be­tween the two par­ties in terms of postal votes and the EVM vote dif­fer­ences were 2,058.

PDP and BKP’s com­bined postal votes come to 34,112 postal bal­lots and 74,544 EVM votes. Th­ese votes will de­cide the fate of the par­ties in the gen­eral round on Oc­to­ber 18.

Pres­i­dents of both the par­ties ac­cept that the votes that went to PDP and BKP will be the game changer and they have been ac­tively reach­ing out to party sup­port­ers and co­or­di­na­tors for sup­port.

In an in­ter­view with Busi­ness Bhutan, DPT pres­i­dent Pema Gyamt­sho ad­mit­ted that the votes of BKP and PDP sup­port­ers will be the de­cid­ing fac­tor. “Though we have enough sup­port base to win, the ad­di­tional votes from th­ese par­ties will give us high chances of win­ning the elec­tions. Any­thing can hap­pen; it can be the game changer for both DPT and DNT,” he said.

While it can­not be pre­dicted which con­stituen­cies PDP won will lean, both pres­i­dents are con­fi­dent they can garner a ma­jor­ity of the vote bank.

The ques­tion is how much in­road DNT will make in DPT’s strong­hold, which is the en­tire eastern re­gion and how DPT win the votes in the west and south.

Pema Gyamt­sho said that the ob­jec­tive of the party is to not re­tain the 22 seats but to win 47 seats.

“If re­tain­ing is im­por­tant then I would have con­cen­trated only on the 22 seats,” he added.

DPT won 22 con­stituen­cies dur­ing the pri­mary round and had a land­slide vic­tory from the eastern re­gion which made them qual­ify for the gen­eral round but the party was un­able to woo vot­ers from the south, north and west.

DPT man­aged to win just one con­stituency each from south in Samtse from Do­phuchenTad­ing con­stituency and Lam­gong-Wangchang con­stituency in Paro. While from the cen­tral part DPT won four con­stituen­cies from Bumthang and Zhem­gang and none from Trongsa.

Talk­ing about how many seats the party is look­ing for­ward to win from the south and west, he said as many as pos­si­ble.

“The prospect of the party form­ing the gov­ern­ment looks good and promis­ing. We are pre­pared to win and look­ing for­ward. Win­ning is the only thing,” Pema Gyamt­sho said.

He also said that the party is not wor­ried about what hap­pened in 2013 elec­tions. “We are not ex­pect­ing the In­dia fac­tor de­spite all the news that is be­ing cir­cu­lated. We don’t ex­pect any im­pact from that kind of news,” he added.

Sim­i­larly, DNT was able to garner votes from rest of the Dzongkhags but could only win one con­stituency from the east: Maenbi-Tsaenkhar con­stituency in Lhuentse. In to­tal DNT won 16 con­stituen­cies which are a mix of con­stituen­cies from north, west and south.

Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing said the party is tar­get­ing at least five to seven seats from the east. He said ex­cept for a few con­stituen­cies in the east po­ten­tial to win is high for DNT while ex­cept for some con­stituen­cies in the east, the vote mar­gin is min­i­mal and it is pos­si­ble for the party to win.

The DPT pres­i­dent has been reach­ing out to the sup­port­ers of BKP and PDP and like­wise the sup­port­ers and the co­or­di­na­tors of the two par­ties are also reach­ing out to the pres­i­dent. “At the end of the day, the na­tion is more im­por­tant than in­di­vid­ual party in­ter­est,” he said.

DNT pres­i­dent has also been try­ing to garner the sup­port of party sup­port­ers and co­or­di­na­tors of both BKP and PDP in all the con­stituen­cies as he be­lieves the elec­tion is un­pre­dictable. He said the re­sponse from them has been good so far and he is still in the process of meet­ing some of them.

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