DPT picks an educator, DNT sticks to former candidate for the bye-election

For the Khamdang-Ramjar bye election, the ruling party Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa will give the ticket to the former candidate while the opposition party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa by default had to field a new candidate.

The Election Commission of Bhutan set the poll date for Khamdang-Ramjar bye-elections on February 03, 2022.

This time around, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa is fielding a 34-year old educator, Jigme Tashi. The candidate served as a history lecturer at the Taktse College of Language and Culture Studies for five years before joining the politics. He had also worked as the counsellor and manager at an education consultancy and placement firm, and he is also a certified cultural tour guide.

Jigme Tashi holds a degree in Bhutanese and Himalayan Studies, and graduated in 2015. He was formally introduced as the party’s candidate for the bye-election on the party’s official Facebook page.

For Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, the party is offering the bye-election ticket to its former candidate Karma Gyeltshen, this will be officially declared by the party in the coming week.

The 53-year-old is a mechanical engineering and a business graduate, Karma Gyeltshen had contested in the 2018 elections but failed to secure the mandate.

A former consultant and a business administrator, Karma Gyeltshen worked as a general manager for Toyota Department in State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Limited for 22 years before joining politics.

In the 2018 elections, Karma Gyeltshen promised to pursue economic growth, and issues related to women and gender, and youth. Additionally, he also said that he believes in ‘narrowing the gap’ – the party’s slogan and he would address it with policy interventions and innovative programmes. He further stressed that at the core of his mandate would lie progressive activities that are inclusive with equality and equity for women, children and people living with disability.

This bye-election for Khamdang-Ramjar constituency comes after the former opposition member of parliament (MP) of the constituency Kuenga Loday tendered resignation to the speaker.

Khamdang-Ramjar constituency post for MP has been vacant since November 15.

Khamdang-Ramjar constituency voted for DPT in 2008 and 2018, and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013.

In the 2018 elections at the primary round, DPT secured 44.4 percent of the votes in the constituency and DNT secured 27 percent. Leading to the general election, DNT had an increase of 13 percent winning 43 percent of the votes while DPT won the majority securing 56 percent of the votes.

The former candidate of DPT Kuenga Loday won the mandate with 463 votes from postal ballot that was almost a tie-breaker as Kuenga Loday had secured 1,869 EVM votes and DNT candidate Karma Gyeltshen, 1,551 votes.

For the 2018 elections, Trashiyangtse had 18,388 registered voters, and a total of 12, 313 voted making it a 66.9 percent turnout of the total registered voter.

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