Kakadbhitta, Mar 26 : Nine Nepali-speaking candidates were elected to Bhutan's National Assembly.
They are all from the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), the party led by former Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Y Thinley.
Of the nine, Lila Pradhan is the sole woman. She has been elected from Samchi District with 4,592 votes.
All four constituencies of the southern district, mostly inhibited by Nepali speakers, saw the victory of the Nepali-speaking candidates. The other victors in the district are Thakur Singh Poudel, Durga Prasad Chhetri and Pralhad Gurung.
Similarly, Hemanta Gurung has been elected in Dagana district while Nara Bahadur Gurung left his contenders trailing behind in Chirang. Yankhu Chhiring Sherpa (Chirang district), Prem Kumar Gurung and Nanda Lal Rai (both Sarbhang district) have also been elected to Assembly seats.
Of the total of 47 constituencies, the DPT garnered a landslide victory with 44 seats. The People's Democratic Party (PDP), headed by another former Prime Minister of Bhutan, Sangey Ngedup Dorjee, who is also a maternal uncle of Bhutan's king, was limited to three seats.
Although the Bhutanese Government's news portal, Kuensel Online, said that 74.4 percent voters used their franchise, as many as 102,077 Bhutanese were deprived of this right as they were denied citizenship certificates, no objection certificates and identity cards by local authorities.
According to ekantipur.com, the election was held ignoring the rights of over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees languishing in seven different camps in eastern Nepal, and hundreds of others in India.