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PDP and BTP Set to Vie for Victory in Bhutanโ€™s General Elections 2023-2024

โ€ฆ๐‘จ๐’” ๐‘ฉ๐’‰๐’–๐’•๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’„๐’Š๐’‘๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’Š๐’๐’‚๐’ ๐’“๐’๐’–๐’๐’… ๐’๐’‡ ๐’—๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, ๐’…๐’Š๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’† ๐’๐’‘๐’Š๐’๐’Š๐’๐’๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‰๐’๐’‘๐’†๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’‡๐’–๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’† ๐’–๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’„๐’๐’“๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’๐’Š๐’‡๐’Š๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’–๐’‘๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’†๐’๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’Š๐’ ๐’”๐’‰๐’‚๐’‘๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’•๐’“๐’š’๐’” ๐’‘๐’‚๐’•๐’‰

Susmika Subba

In accordance with Section 442 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has officially announced the outcomes of the Primary Round (PR) for the upcoming 4th National Assembly Elections scheduled for 2023-2024. The Primary Round, held on November 30, witnessed active participation across all 47 National Assembly Demkhongs spanning the twenty Dzongkhags.

Following the meticulous tabulation of valid votes, the Peopleโ€™s Democratic Party (PDP) emerged as the leading contender, securing the highest number of valid votes. In a closely contested competition, the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) secured the second-highest number of valid votes. Consequently, these two political entities are now poised to engage in a head-to-head battle in the imminent General Elections, scheduled for January 9, 2024.

After their victory in the primary round, the President of the People’s Democratic Party pens a personal note expressing deep gratitude for the unwavering support received during the primary round. He acknowledges the profound impact of the collective journey embarked upon for the betterment of Bhutan, emphasizing that the foundation of the party rests on the aspirant faith in their vision for a more harmonious and prosperous nation.

Expressing immense gratitude to voters, he sees their participation not merely as a political endorsement but as a testament to the strength of democracy and the power of collective voices. He extends appreciation to all participating parties and congratulates the Bhutan Tendrel Party, anticipating constructive discourse as they approach the general elections.

Similarly, the President of the Bhutan Tendrel Party shares his victory and gratitude on social media, attributing the success to the unwavering spirit, dedication, and hard work of everyone involved. He extends heartfelt thanks to party workers, coordinators, and supporters for their contribution to the vision of a prosperous Bhutan.

Both presidents acknowledge the achievements of their respective parties and express anticipation for the challenges ahead, emphasizing the duty to serve the King, country, and people. The President of the Bhutan Tendrel Party also congratulates the People’s Democratic Party on their victory in the primary round.

Looking ahead, the People’s Democratic Party and the Bhutan Tendrel Party are poised to compete in the General Elections 2023-2024, with voters deciding the government and opposition party for the next five years.

In the primary round, the overall voter turnout was 63%, with 313,162 out of the total 497,058 eligible registered voters exercising their democratic right through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at 809 polling stations, garnering 195,719 votes. Additionally, 117,443 votes were cast through Postal Ballots (PB-In-country & Overseas) and Special Early Voting (SEV).

With the official declaration of the Primary Round results, the Election Commission of Bhutan invites the nominated candidates of the PDP and BTP to formally submit one candidate each for all 47 National Assembly Demkhongs. This critical nomination process is a statutory requirement under the electoral laws, based on the tentative list submitted alongside the Letter of Intent (LoI).

The nominated candidates are scheduled to commence the filing of their Nomination Papers with the respective Returning Officer, starting from December 4. The deadline for the submission of nominations is December 9, as explicitly specified in Notification No: ECB/NOTIF-01/2023/4403, dated November 3, 2023, marking the initiation of the 4th National Assembly Elections, 2023-2024.

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