LG: Two women gup candidates from Haa will contest against 16 men candidates in the up coming local government election on September 27.

The dzongkhag election office conducted a scrutiny of the candidates yesterday at two places for the conveniences of the candidates. For Gakiling and Sangbaykha gewog, scrutiny was conducted at Sangbaykha dungkhag by the returning officer while for Samar, Uesu, Kartshog and Bji it was conducted at the dzongkhag office.

A total of 36 candidates from six gewogs vying for the gup and mangmi posts filed their nominations with the dzongkhag election office yesterday. A gup candidate from Bji and a mangmi candidate from Samar gewog couldn’t file their nominations, as they couldn’t clear some formalities.

A woman candidate from Kartshog gewog will contest for the gup’s post against three male candidates, while 40-year-old Sonam Dema from Balamna chiwog under Sammar gewog will contest against four men. Kartshog’s former gup will not be contesting.

A mother of six children, Sonam Dema who lost in 2011 for the same post said she hopes the people will support her this time. Before contesting for the post, a class VIII drop out has been working as a Drongyul moenpa (community health worker) in her village.

Five former gups will re-contest for the same post while Gakiling’s mangap who contested for the gup’s post lost from his chiwog.

Chiwog zomdus ended on August 25.

Meanwhile two former mangmis of Bji and Samar gewog will contest for the gup post.

Almost all gewogs have an equal number of contestants for both the gup and mangmi posts.

For the post of gup, Samar gewog has five, Sangbaykha, Kartshogs and Bji gewogs have three candidates each while Gakiling and Uesu have two each.

For mangmi, Sangbaykha, Bji and Samar gewogs have four candidates each while Uesu has three. Kartshog and Gakiling gewogs have two each vying for the post.

Tshogpa candidates will not have to go through the election process like gups and mangmis at the chiwog level, but will have to get a minimum of five percent of signatures from households in the chiwog for nomination.

Dzongkhag election officer Thinley Jamtsho said candidates who want to withdraw their nomination could do so by September 3.

Haa has thirty chiwogs.

Tashi Tenzin