Bhutan’s election authorities today successfully completed the process to elect a new Parliament after the country’s second national polls saw the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) storm to power. Bhutan Election Commission (BEC) formally submitted the list of 47 winners of the country’s second national elections to King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, culminating the first stage of the democratic process in the Himalayan nation in which Tshering Tobgay-led PDP secured a two-thirds majority. On Saturday, the PDP won the national elections with a massive mandate and captured 32 seats. The country’s new opposition party Druk Phuensum Tshogpa will have 15 members in the House. The peaceful elections were marked by a heavy voter turnout of 80%. This is the second national polls in Bhutan after the country became a democracy in 2008 before which it was a monarchy.
Arrows thud into a wooden target, and the men with bows sing in celebration. One of those watching the archery tournament is Gyeltshen, an 89-year-old who remembers Thimphu, Bhutan’s sprawling capital, as a “few houses and a forest”. Entering it without wearing your gho, a knee-length Bhutanese robe, meant risking arrest and a fine. Much is changing. He approves of how the king “granted us democracy” in 2008, when the Himalayan country had its first election. On July 13th Mr Gyeltshen will vote in the second. Like many in Thimphu, he says the ruling Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (Peace and Prosperity Party) kept its promises to build roads and airports and to provide hydro power. Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and most of the country has electricity. The party expects to win.
Voters in the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan will begin electing their second ever government this week, five years after the country’s Buddhist “dragon kings” gave way to democracy. The electorate of less than 400,000 people will choose from four parties on Friday when the primary round of voting for the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, commences. The two most popular parties will then contest a run-off round on July 13 to form the next government. Bhutan, which is landlocked by Asian giants India to the south and China to the north, held its first election in 2008 after the monarchy ceded absolute power and actively led the move to a parliamentary democracy. In the 2008 vote, the centre-right Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), drawn from the country’s traditional elite, won a huge landslide and secured 45 of 47 seats available against the People’s Democratic Party. This time two new centre-left parties, both led by women, are joining the contest, but the well-established DPT is generally expected to win by a small margin — although opinion polls are banned.
Bhutan begins its second-ever parliamentary election on Friday, after polling officials trekked for up to seven days to reach voters in the most remote corners of the Himalayan kingdom. Bhutanease wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Thimphu on April 23, 2013. Bhutan begins its second-ever parliamentary election on Friday, after polling officials trekked for up to seven days to reach voters in the most remote corners of the Himalayan kingdom. While the electorate comprises fewer than 400,000 people, voting is a huge logistical challenge across the rugged terrain, where democracy was ushered in just five years ago after Bhutan’s “dragon kings” ceded absolute power. Armed with satellite phones to send in results, polling staff have braved heavy rains and slippery leech-infested trails to ensure that even isolated yak-owning nomads can cast their vote, the national Kuensel newspaper reported.
People in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan were cementing their young democracy Tuesday by voting in the nation’s second parliamentary election. The remote nation of 700,000 had its first election in 2008 after the king voluntarily reduced the monarchy’s role in running the country. A total of 67 candidates were competing Tuesday for the 20 elected seats in the 25-member upper house. The five remaining seats are filled by royal appointment. The candidates were running without party affiliation. However, five parties will contest polls for the more influential lower house, expected in June. Only two parties contested the 2008 election, when the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa won a landslide victory.