PDP Wins 2024 National General Elections with 30 Seats
Bhutanese citizens participated in the final round of parliamentary elections on Tuesday, January 9th, from morning until 5 pm.
This marked the fourth general election in Bhutan since the country's transition from a monarchy to a parliamentary government in 2008, signifying the continued commitment to the democratic process in the nation.
A noteworthy aspect of this election was the dedication displayed by some voters who undertook arduous journeys, trekking for days to exercise their right to vote. The contest primarily involved the top two parties that had emerged victorious in the primary round elections, namely the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP). Out of the 47 constituencies, the PDP secured 30 seats, while the BTP claimed 17 seats, thus establishing the PDP, led by former Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, as the party set to form the new government.
Approximately half a million voters took part in the election process, selecting members of parliament from a pool of 94 candidates presented by the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) and the PDP. Both political parties emphasized their commitment to addressing key issues, such as revitalizing Bhutan's economy and tackling challenges related to unemployment and the outflow of skilled individuals seeking better financial and educational opportunities abroad. The phenomenon of brain drain, with Australia being a prominent destination, has been a concern since the previous election. Both parties have pledged to uphold the constitutional principle of governing for the "happiness and wellbeing of the people."
Tshering Tobgay, aged 58, is expected to return as prime minister for the second time. He previously served as the leader of the opposition in Bhutan's inaugural parliament, established in 2008 during the reign of the present king. The PDP's manifesto highlighted government statistics indicating that one in every eight people in Bhutan was "struggling to meet their basic needs for food" and other essentials, underlining the pressing challenges facing the nation that the incoming government will need to address.