Opposition candidate wins seat vacated by Bhutan's former PM

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 10 November 2013 | 07.20

THIMPHU: Bhutan's main opposition party DPT has won a byelection for a parliamentary seat vacated by its leader and former Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley, whose party was routed in the general election in July.

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) on Sunday declared that Dechen Zangmo of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa Party (DPT) has been elected as the representative from Nanong-Shumar National Assembly Demkhong constituency at Saturday's polls.

In a press release, the ECB stated that the overall voter turnout was 35.2 per cent with 2,913 voters casting the ballot out of the total 8,278 registered voters.

Of the total votes, 2,632 votes were cast on the electronic voting machines in 17 polling stations and 281 votes through postal ballots.

Zangmo was elected with 1,751 votes while Pema Wangchuk of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) secured 1,162 votes.

Thinley, 60, resigned in July, becoming the first person in Bhutan to quit the legislative body.

His DPT party was routed by the PDP in Bhutan's second national election held in July. The PDP won 32 seats in the 47-member National Assembly.

Thinley was one of the 15 DPT candidates who were elected in the recent polls.

Bhutan has a tri-cameral parliament of the King, National Council and the National Assembly.

There are 25 seats in the National Council or the upper house. Five of them are appointed by the King and 20 are elected from 20 districts.

Compared to the general election, the number of voters was reduced by 1,000 in Nanong-Shumar byelection.

Thinley had secured a landslide victory with 3,742 votes against PDP's Wangchuk who got 1,011 votes in the polls earlier this year.


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