Curtains have been finally drawn, speculations put to rest. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has triumphed the 2013 general election – an election that many saw as a constricted contest till the results were announced nationwide late Saturday evening.
That this is another historic moment for PDP and the winning candidates of the two parties are irrefutable, but it is also so for Bhutan and its people. More than anything, it’s the verdict of the people. It’s over which party the majority of the Bhutanese have laid their faith and reposed on to; to be the guardian of the dream, aspiration, and destiny of not only themselves, but also of the nation.
So the people’s verdict is here. PDP will go on to form Bhutan’s second democratically elected government after having had secured seats in 32 of the total 47 constituencies, while the former ruling government, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), will now take the helm of the opposition with a total win in 15 constituencies.
The 2013 general election has definitely been a rematch of the 2008 election, except that it wasn’t similar to what happened in 2008 when DPT, in what some dubbed as the world’s largest political victory, clinched 45 of the total 47 seats, thus leaving a two-member opposition party.
But the results this time are definitely not the same as that of 2008. There are other revelations as well.
First, the incumbency factor was a real disadvantage to the new parties that contested the primary election, however, it wasn’t the case so in the general election. According to what some say, it was the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling DPT that translated into votes for PDP in the general election.
Secondly, even if DPT made numerous developments on the social front from farm roads to rural electrification, health and agriculture, and even blustered of having had achieved all what it promised to people back in 2008 and lowered poverty by half, the party had other baggage too; for instance, the party getting mired into controversy and corruption issue, DPT’s firm stand that the country’s economy was doing well even if others asserted otherwise, and its alleged attribution for the subsidies cut from India.
As such, the above reasons only favored PDP. Another datum, as some maintain, is that PDP, therefore, stood out as a credible option. There was at least a party as an option that voters could try out and give an opportunity to, thus only favoring PDP. It was also indication that Bhutanese electorate were ready to grapple with change, and people voted so.
However, this is just a start of another journey. It’s also time for reconciliation and to keep our political differences aside. More than a party winning, it should always be the people that wins ultimately. And here people have won.