LG: It’s September 27, 10pm. Dzomie gewog centre in Punakha is crammed with local government (LG) election contestants from four gewogs. The candidates await their results.

A candidate peeps through the curtain into the adjacent room where the  returning officer (RO) is carrying out the final crosschecking.

“So I lost by just five votes,” asks a candidate. He is politely made to wait for another few minutes. In the next room plans are being made for parties after the results are declared.

It’s 11pm and the moment of truth arrives. The lone gup candidate Tshechu got 748 “yes” votes against 186 “no”. Dawa Tashi is the mangmi-elect securing 454 votes.

After securing 12 votes of the total 18 postal ballots, Sonam Pema loses to Dhendup Dorji by 32 votes after the EVM results come in. Dhendup Dorji is to become the Dzomisa-Menhdagang tshogpa. Yangchen Dema is the tshogpa-elect of Goobji-Tseykakha chiwog and Gomchen is the tshogpa-elect of Khikikhar-Loongkha.

Sonam Tobgay secured 441 votes to become the gup-elect of Chhubu gewog. With a major difference of 360 votes against the second position, Jimba Gyeltshen is the mangmi-elect. While Kinley Bidha, Namgay Tshering, Damcho, Tenzin Penjor and Thuji Zangmo are the tshogpas-elect of the five chiwogs under the gewog.

In Toedwang gewog, securing a total of 559 votes, Touchu is the gup-elect. With 564 votes, Tshering Tobgay is the tshogpa-elect. Lam Dorji, Kinley Tenzin, Tshering Wangmo, Kinle Buthri and Kado are the five tshogpa-elects.

In a closely contested battle, the post of the gup for Shelnga-Bjemi gewog went to Samten Phuntsho who got 472 votes. Phurb Wangmo is the mangmi-elect with 374 votes. Sithub Namgay, Rinchen Dorji, Phurba Dorji, Passang Dorji and Namgay are the tshogpas-elect of the five chiwogs.

The lone contestant for the post of Punakha thromde ngotshab, Namgay Tshering secured 79 “yes” votes against four “no” votes. Namgay Tshering said that when his photo and name was displayed on BBS TV, he was excited to know his results but disappointed that he was declared the thromde ngotshab of Wangdue and not Punakha.

“It was confusing. The picture and name was mine but the demkhong was Wangdue,” said the former monk. “But I like to believe that it was a mistake and officials will make the necessary corrections.”

Securing a total of 186 votes, Yeshi Dorji is the gup-elect of Goenshari gewog. With 138 votes, Pem Tshering is the mangmi-elect. Yeshi Dorji, Namgay Tenzin, Namgay Tenzin and Tshering Gyeltshen are the tshogpas-elect of Goomgang, Zhelngoesa, Dragchhukha and Sachaednang chiwogs. However, there was a tie between Phurba and Thinley of Yorbo chiwog who secured 39 votes each.

With 415 votes, Ugyen Khandu is the gup-elect of Guma gewog. Kencho Wangdi secured 453 votes for the post of mangmi. Namgay, Daw Gyeltshen, Yeshi Tshering, Namgay Bidha and Kado are the five tshogpas-elect under the gewog.

Tshering Penjor with a difference of 38 votes is the gup-elect of Kabisa gewog. With 507 votes, Passang Dorji is the mangmi-elect. Pem Tshering, Kinley, Pema Tshering, Karma and Passang Dorji are the tshogpas-elect.

In Lingmukha gewog, the former gup Sonam Tobgay is the gup-elect. He secured 366 votes. Kinley Wangdi is the mangmi-elect. Kencho Wangdi, Karma Wangchuk, Tenzin Wangchuk and Dechen Zam are the tshogpas-elect of the gewog.

Emotions ran high for Kinley Zam when she lost the post of Gamakha-Sebtokha tshogpa under Barp gewog to Zangkhu. With 455 votes Passang Dorji is the gup-elect for the gewog. Tenpa Rinchen is the mangmi-elect with 399 votes. Kinley Penjor, Thinley Dorji, Dago and Pema Namgyel are the tshogpas-elect.

Of the five contestants in Toedpaisa for the post of gup, Namgay Tenzin secured 301 votes to claim the post. With 426 votes Sangay Dorji is the mangmi-elect and Chimi, Tashi Dema, Gyeltshen, Chencho and Tshering are the tshogpas-elect.

Dorji Wangchuk, 55, from Gangthramo-Labtsakha chiwog is the gup-elect for Talog gewog with 331 votes. With 475 votes the lone woman candidate, Kinley Zangmo is the mangmi-elect. Kencho Tshering, Rinzin, Kinley Dorji, Karma Yeshi and Dem are the tshogpas-elect of the five chiwogs under the gewog.

Younten Tshedup | Punakha