Bhutan votes in final round of parliamentary polls
THIMPHU — Voting is currently underway for Bhutan’s final round of parliamentary elections, with people queuing up outside polling stations across the Himalayan country on Tuesday.
At one polling station in the quiet town of Damphu, capital of Tsirang District, many vehicles and voters were seen arriving from different parts of the country for the polling day, Xinhua news agency quoted national newspaper Kuensel as saying in a report.
Two political parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP), are contesting Tuesday’s vote across all 47 constituencies in the Himalayan kingdom.
A party has to win at least 24 constituencies to form a government.
A preliminary round in November 2023 narrowed the race down to two parties, with PDP securing 42.53 pe rcent of total votes and BTP 19.58 per cent, results from the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) showed.
Both the previous government’s lawmakers and their former opposition were k
The ECB has deployed over 6,000 officials, including security personnel, to 812 polling stations across the country.
Votinng centres opened at 8 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m., the poll body said.
“We are happy to report that we are fully prepared,” Bhutan Broadcasting Service quoted ECB’s Director of Secretariat Phub Dorji as saying on Monday.
According to the ECB’s final electoral roll, there are over 496,000 registered voters, of which nearly 126,000 have registered for postal ballots.
On January 6, the ECB declared a no-campaign period on or 48 hours before the polling day, not even through social media.
Bhutan, a landlocked country with a population of around 800,000, held elections for the first time in 2008 after political reforms established a bicameral Parliament soon after the start of the reign of the present King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.