PDP Achieved Landslide Victory for Preliminary Round of National Elections


The victory of the People’s Democratic Party in securing 39 out of the 47 constituencies during the primary round came as a truly unexpected surprise.

This unforeseen outcome not only took the electorate by surprise but also left other political parties, as well as the PDP's own supporters and well-wishers, in a state of shock.

Landslide victory of People's Democratic Party (PDP)

Many are grappling with the question of why this landslide victory occurred, and "I don't know" seems to be the only immediate response. While some anticipated a return of the PDP, they had a five-year preparation period and conducted an active campaign, despite some controversies, some of which actually played in their favor. However, the manner in which they surged ahead in the primary round with more than double the votes of the runner-up, Bhutan Tendrel Party, was unexpected, if not downright astonishing.

Initially, the expectation was that the PDP would be among the top five parties to advance through the primary round. Nevertheless, the magnitude of their victory surprised the Bhutanese people, even though such a significant margin had occurred in the first Assembly elections. In many constituencies, the margin was so substantial that the combined total votes of the four other parties were less than what the PDP secured. It truly was an overwhelming and massive triumph.

The PDP won the Nanong-Shumar constituency, which had been a stronghold of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, came in second in Nganglam, and third in Khar-Yurung. They secured significant victories where they won, while their losses were often by a narrow margin. In Khamed-Lunana, where the PDP came in second, the difference was a mere four votes.

In the Kanglung-Samkhar-Udzorong constituency, where the president of BTP was contesting, the PDP secured second place with a margin of 1,458 votes. This is in contrast to Pangbang or North Thimphu, the constituencies of two party presidents, where the PDP won by comfortable margins.

Bhutan next election will take place on the 9 January 2024

Based on the results of the primary round, many believe that the PDP is on a trajectory to win the fourth National Assembly election. The numbers are encouraging, with the party that governed from 2013-2018 winning by a significant margin in both the postal ballot and on the EVMs. They garnered 49 percent of the total votes cast yesterday, competing against five parties.

However, it should be approached with caution to assume that the primary round results are indicative of the general round's outcome. History has shown that tables can turn during the general round, and this time, supporters of three parties are waiting to decide whom to support.

Furthermore, as one political analyst pointed out, a substantial margin may not bode well for the winner. Bhutanese voters tend to emphatise the underdog and often have a tendency to give new parties a chance, as seen in the past. The outcome of the general round will depend on how the parties campaign from tomorrow and where the supporters of the DPT, DNT, and DTT decide to align themselves. If the general round produces a result similar to the primary round, it would mean an absolute majority for the PDP.

In the meantime, the DTT, having secured the fewest votes, may need to reconsider its status as a political party unless it regroups and contests without state funding. Despite the DPT taking a break after three consecutive terms, the unwavering determination of its supporters was once again evident, resulting in the party securing a respectable third place.

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