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Elections 2013 -The postal difference

Most of the postal voters for the general elections have opted to go for a change in the government, the poll day results indicate.

People’s Democratic Party won in 38 of the 47 National Assembly constituencies in postal ballot counts. Druk Phuensum Tshoga had managed to win from nine constituencies in terms of postal ballot.

It was also the postal ballot that had played a part in pulling those PDP candidates through in cases where electronic voting machine results were close.

In constituencies like Goenkhamey- Lunana, Gasa, PDP's Pema Drukpa had secured 324 EVM votes, losing to DPT's Kinley Dorji who managed 341 votes. But when postal votes were added, it took Pema Drukpa to victory by a difference of two votes.

In Samkhar-Udzorong in Trashigang, PDP's Norbu Wangchuk had lost to DPT's Thinley Palden Dorji on EVM, 1,946 to 2,232 but in postal ballot, Norbu Wangchuk took 797 votes as compared to Thinley Palden Dorji with 509 postal votes.

Similarly, Mongar's Karma Lhamo, Deothang- Gomdar's Ugyen Dorji and Wamrong's Lhatu all won on EVM votes but lost to their opponents when the postal ballot votes were totaled.

Meanwhile, a total of 18,406 postal ballot voters went for DPT while about 25,853 voters chose PDP.

On the EVM, however, DPT won from 21 constituencies while PDP secured a good win from 26 constituencies.

In total DPT received 1 14,093 votes while PDP went on to become the new government by receiving a total of 1,38,760 votes.

The outcome is quite a contrast to the numbers that emerged following the first general elections in 2008.

About 169,350 voters had gone for DPT while PDP secured 833,22 votes. On EVM, DPT secured 66.2 percent while PDP bagged 33.8 percent.

On postal ballot, DPT secured 77.8 percent while PDP won 22.2 percent. There were 318,465 registered voters then.

This time, of the 381,790 registered voters, 252,853, including 44,259 postal voters showed up, which translated to voter turnout of 66.7 percent.

Chief election commissioner of Bhutan, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said the number was good, with a majority deciding the will of the people.

He said in this election, there was impressions that Bhutanese voters were way matured than the past elections and were mindful while electing people to the government.

"Similarly, new government should also be mindful of people's will and take their interest forward," he said.

Meanwhile, of the member elects, only three are women, all from PDP. None of the DPT's four women candidates made it.

Also, of the 15 seats DPT managed to secure, three are the new candidates they robed in this time.

Contributed by Kesang Dema, Kuensel, Bhutan's National Newspaper, July 2013
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