LG: A total of 172 candidates have been nominated to contest for local government (LG) posts from the 11 gewogs of Samdrupjongkhar and its thromde.

With the scrutiny of documents completed, except for one tshogpa candidate, all candidates have qualified according to returning officers in the dzongkhag.

Of the 172 candidates, 29, including one woman, will be vying for the post of gup. There are 31 candidates, including five women, for the post of mangmi, and 87 men and 16 women contesting for the tshogpa post.

In the thromde, there is one woman and one man contesting for the thrompon post. There are three women and four men contesting for thromde tshogpa post.

Samdrupjongkhar returning officer Sonam Wangdi said two tshogpa candidates did not submit their documents after they couldn’t acquire Security Clearance Certificates.

Samdrupcholing returning officer Bishal Rai said one tshogpa candidate despite submitting documents, withdrew.

Sonam Wangdi said that of the total 2,521 postal ballot voters registered in the dzongkhag’s four gewogs and thromde, 1,796 postal ballots were received. Of the total received, 318 were rejected.

Samdrupcholing dungkhag, which covers four gewogs received 770 postal ballots of the 1,490 registered, but 214 were rejected.

Jomotsangkha dungkhag, which covers three gewogs received 1,161 postal ballots but 139 were rejected. There are 1,440 postal ballot voters registered there.

The majority were rejected because voters were not registered for the postal ballot while a few were not included in the electorate roll.

Three former gups from Lauri, Samrang and Dewathang did not re-contest while two former gups from Gomdar and Orong lost during the chiwog zomdu.

Of the total gup candidates nominated, six are former gups.

Phuntshothang gewog in Samdrupcholing dungkhag has the highest number of candidates with four for gup and four for mangmi.

Tshothang chiwog in Lauri gewog, two chiwogs in Samrang gewog and two chiwogs in Dewathang gewog are without tshogpa candidates. Samdrupjongkhar Toed, one of the seven constituencies in Samdrupjongkhar thromde is also without a tshogpa candidate.

The dzongkhag also completed it’s coordination meeting for the conduct of elections to discuss logistics for the polling team, and security personnel, among others, for poll day.

The erratic supply of electricity and internet topped issues discussed, in which returning officers said their work is being hindered especially when verifying postal ballots and printing documents.

All returning officers have issued the common forum schedule and candidates have also submitted their campaign schedules.

The first common forum began yesterday in Dewathang gewog.

Yangchen C Rinzin | Samdrupjongkhar