May 31, 2013, midnight
Voters in Bhutan will vote on Friday in the first round of elections to elect 47 members to the National Assembly / Gyelyong Tshogdu. This will be the second ever elections for the National Assembly, which was founded in 2008. Elections to the National Assembly occurs over two rounds. In the first round of voting, the parties with the two highest vote tallies progress to the second round, where they will be able to nominate one candidate in each of the 47 National Assembly election districts. These candidates will be elected in a second round of voting on July 11, 2013.
Five parties have registered with the Election Commission of Bhutan to contest the first round of the elections. The Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party / Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, led by Prime Minister Jigme THINLEY, garnered the most votes in the 2008 National Assembly election, and held 45 seats in the last session of the National Assembly. Also participating in the election is the People’s Democratic Party, led by Tsheing TOBGAY, which won two seats in the last election. Three new political parties will contest the election, including the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, led by Dorji CHODEN, the Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party, led by Sonam TOBGAY, and the Druk Chirwang Tshogpa, led by Lily WANGCHUK. 381,790 Bhutanese citizens are eligible to vote in the first round of the elections.