With no registered voters, Denchi thromde does not have a thromde ngotshab candidate 

LG: A total of 153 candidates from 11 gewogs are contesting for the local government elections in Pemagatshel.

Except for one mangmi candidate who withdrew from the elections to attend the RCSC exams, all the nominated candidates got through the scrutiny process.

A total of 227 aspiring candidates had participated during the chiwog zomdus, of which, 153 candidates were nominated.

Of the 153, 27 candidates including a lone female gup from Nanong gewog are vying for the post of gup. There are 29 candidates, including five women for the post of mangmi, and 83 men and 14 women contesting for the post of tshogpa.

Eight of the aspirants are university graduates, including one with a master’s degree, while 22 completed non-formal education. There are also 17 former gomchens and eight former monks contesting, while the rest have some level of school eduction.

Norboogang gewog has the highest number of gup candidates with four while Shumar gewog has the highest number of mangmi candidates, also with four.

Woongborang chiwog in Dungmid gewog and Dungchhilo Kholomri chiwog in Dechenling gewog are without tshogpa candidates.

While the two former gups from Khar and Chimoong gewogs lost during the chiwog zomdu, of the total gup candidates nominated, nine aspirants are former gups. Seven aspirants are former mangmis including a woman from zobel gewog.

Returning officer, Sangay Tshering, who covers Shumar, Nanong and Zobel gewogs said the office received 1,096 postal ballots, of which, 175 were rejected.

Returning officer, Sonam Bumtap, said 309 applications were rejected from 2,161 postal ballots in Khar,  Chimoong, Chongshing, Yurung and Dungmid gewogs.

Nganglam Dungkhag returning officer Karma Choeda, who covers Dechenling, Choekhorling and Norboogang gewogs, said of the 896 postal ballots, 132 were rejected.

More than half of the postal ballots were rejected because the voters were not registered for postal ballot while a few for wrong identification information.

All the postal ballots have been dispatched to the respective voters and the voters should send the postal ballots to returning officers on or before September 26.

Common forums have been completed in the gewogs of Chongshing which has three gup aspirants, Chimoong which has two gup aspirants and Zobel which has a lone gup candidate. Common forums are ongoing in the rest.

The dzongkhag has also completed its coordination meeting.

Sharing their past experiences, gewog administrative officers (GAO) shared that the election officer should brief all polling officers to carry required equipment such as utensils and other kitchen items before dispersing to their respective polling stations.

Dechenling GAO, Pema Tenzin, said during the last local government election, some did not even bring a mug and expected the gewog administration to supply such items.

Meanwhile, Denchi thromde in Pemagatshel does not have a candidate for thromde ngotshab.

This is because all six constituencies in the thromde do not have registered voters and therefore no chiwog zomdu was held.

Election officials said the election or by-election will be possible only once they complete the electorate roll, which will be possible only after the census transfer.

Plots in Denchi, where the new Pemagatshel township will be established, have already been distributed but the census is yet to be transferred for residents to become the thromde’s registered voters.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Pemagatshel 

Supported by Bhutan Media Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation