CORRECTED: Bhutan corrects poll results, opposition shrinks

Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:25pm EDT

Bhutanese voters stand in a queue outside a polling station to cast their ballot in Thimpu, March 24, 2008. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

Bhutanese voters stand in a queue outside a polling station to cast their ballot in Thimpu, March 24, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Desmond Boylan

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Election officials on Thursday dealt Bhutan's fledgling opposition another blow days after voters in the world's newest democracy handed it a stunning defeat, trimming its presence in parliament to just two seats.

Saying there had been a mistake in the recording of votes in the Phuentsholing constituency, the Election Commission announced on its Web site the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) had now won 45 out of 47 seats in Monday's polls.

The opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) had been declared the winner in Phuentsholing by a slender margin of four votes, ensuring the party's third seat.

But there had been an error, officials said.

"At least 200 additional votes were wrongly recorded in favor of a PDP candidate, but we have rectified the mistake now," an election commission spokeswoman told Reuters by telephone.

Jigmi Thinley, the winning DPT party chief, is a staunch royalist and two-time prime minister who has vowed to continue the gradual modernization of Buddhist Bhutan started by its former king.

(Reporting by Bappa Majumdar, Editing by Mark Williams)

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