In politics, there are so many factors that can sway results. In Bhutan, one is being born in a gewog with a huge population.
This factor played a major role in Nyamrup’s Kinga Penjor win the Gangzur-Minjey constituency in the 2018 general election.
Kinga Penjor is from Gangzur gewog, the largest gewog under Gangzur-Minjey constituency with a total of 3,296 registered voters. He secured 810 excluding the postal votes. His contestant DPT’s Tshering Dorji managed 359 votes, a difference of 451 votes.
In Khoma gewog, Tshering Dorji’s gewog, Kinga Penjor secured 222 votes to Tshering Dorji’s 462. The gewog had only 1813 registered voters including postal ballots. The difference was 240 votes.
Kurtoe gewog, which has around 1,481 registered voters and a PDP stronghold in the primary round has slightly turned to DNT after its candidate lost in the primary round. Kinga Penjor secured 204 against Tshering Dorji’s 157 votes.
Minjey gewog that favoured DNT in the primary round didn’t change. DNT’s Kinga Penjor secured 350 votes while Tshering Dorji managed 275.
Kinga Penjor also won 55 more postal votes.
In Maenbi-Tsaenkhar constituency, majority of the PDP and BKP supporters seemed to have supported DNT.
In the primary round, except Maedtsho gewog, where the former agriculture minister contested, DPT won all three of the four gewogs in the EVM voting. But, Jarey and Tsaenkhar gewog were taken by DNT’s Tshering Phuntsho with 21 and 48 votes respectively over DPT’s Choki Gyeltshen,
Choki Gyeltshen was victorious in Maedtsho gewog and Maenbi gewog.
In Maedtsho gewog, Choki Gyeltshen got 18 votes more than Tshering Phuntsho’s. However, Maebi gewog and the postal ballots were the deciding factors that favoured Choki Gyeltshen’s win.
Maenbi gewog showered him with 122 votes higher than his contestant. The postal ballot also made a big difference. He secured 1,537 which is 291 more than Tshering Phuntsho’s 1,246.
Meanwhile, the health priority of the DNT seems to have convinced voters in Lhuentse. “As we grow older, health facilities is inevitable,” Timo, 68, from Wambur said.
Dendup, 56 from Minjey gewog, who was attending his sick wife Lhuentse district hospital went to vote for the party, which he found important because of the pledge of health service.
“I’m ok but my wife gets ill quite regularly. Bringing the patient to the district hospital costs money and time,” he said. “I voted for DNT because it promised to provide health services at our doorstep,” he said.
Some voters were influenced by the cut off point, voucher tax deduction and the incentives for rural mother pledges.
“It’s difficult to care of our baby when we are busy with farm work. The incentives for six months will definitely benefit us,” Sonam, 28, from Tsaenkhar said.
Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse