( dpa )- Jigmi Kinley , a staunch royalist and twice premier under royal rule, is set to become prime minister of Bhutan after his Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT- or People's Harmony Party) swept the first elections to the National Assembly or lower house of parliament, winning 44 of 47 seats.
The results were formally announced by the country's Election Commission on Tuesday.
A commission spokesman said the voter turnout in Monday's elections was estimated to be around 79.4 per cent with more than 250,000 people casting their votes.
"The victory by such a huge margin was almost unexpected. The people of Bhutan want peace and stability and that is the reason they gave us an emphatic victory," Palden Tshering , a senior DPT leader, was quoted as saying by IANS news agency.
Kinley is a strong supporter of the royalty and was instrumental in popularizing former king Jigme Singye Wangchuk's concept of Gross National Happiness - a standard based on a combination of factors such as cultural preservation, sustainable development, good governance and environmental protection - to gauge the country's achievements.
Monday's elections marked the end of a century-old absolute monarchy and ushered in democracy in the tiny Himalayan nation which has a population of 650,000. The king will now remain as constitutional head of state and can be impeached by two-thirds majority of parliament.
Bhutan's transformation to a constitutional monarchy was started by the former king, who handed over powers of daily administration to a council of ministers in 2001. He then stepped down in December 2006, handing over the throne to his Oxford-educated son, 28-year-old Jigme Namgyal Wangchuck .
Elections for the 25-member National Council or upper house of the parliament were held in December and the lower house elections completed the process.
Bhutan is meant to be a multiparty democracy but only two parties contested the elections.
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) put up a poor showing despite the fact that both parties had similar manifestos of economic prosperity and that the PDP leader Sangay Ngedup is the present king's uncle - his four sisters are married to former king Jigme Singye Wangchuk . Ngedup has also served twice as premier under royal rule.