Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and his ruling People’s Democratic Party were ousted in the first round of the country’s parliamentary election.
The primary round for the National Assembly election held on Saturday was a major upset as Tobgay and his party finished third, behind Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa Party and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa Party. The DNT and DPT now go into the final round of the election to be held on October 18 which will choose the new prime minister and his government.
Bhutan shifted to a constitutional monarchy in 2008 and this was the country’s third parliamentary election. Nearly 66 per cent cast their votes in Saturday’s election which was more than the 55. 3 per cent registered in 2013.
Bhutan’s Election Commission statement said the DNT came first with 31.5 per cent votes, while DPT finished behind it with 30.6 per cent votes. The PDP which had been Bhutan’s ruling party polled only 27.2 per cent of the votes. The country’s constitution allows the top two parties to move into the final round of the elections to choose the next government and PM.
Bhutan Kuen-Nyam (BKP), the fourth party in the fray got only 9.7 per cent of the votes.
After last year’s Doklam incident that saw Indian and Chinese soldiers into an eyeball-to-eyeball standoff at the China-India-Bhutan trijunction for 73 days grabbing headlines in the region and beyond, the focus of the international community was once again on Bhutan.