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The Big Picture: Bhutan – Changing Political Equation

In a major upset verdict in the first round of polls in Bhutan, incumbent Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay’s People’s Democratic Party has been ousted from the race, and will not run in the second and final round next month. Harvard educated Tshering Tobgay was seeking a second term in the poll but fell short of two rival parties, who will contest a runoff on October 18. Election officials said DPT, which won Bhutan’s first-ever election when the kingdom transitioned to democracy in 2008, attracted nearly 93,000 votes, narrowly beating DNT. Tobgay, a 52-year-old mountain-biking enthusiast, and his People’s Democratic Party won power from the opposition in 2013. Corruption, rural poverty, youth unemployment and the prevalence of criminal gangs remain challenges for Bhutan’s economy.

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