Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Samtse is now ready for the upcoming Local Government (LG) elections with a final list of candidates, having completed its dhamngoi zomdu. There are 52 candidates contesting for the gup’s position in 14 gewogs, and 41 mangmi candidates.

A total of 202 tshogpa contestants will contest for the 79 chiwogs in Samtse, including tshogpa demkhongs in the thromde.

Except for Tashichholing, all of the other 13 former gups in Samtse contested in the dhamngoi zomdu. Former gups of Norgaygang and Denchukha were not nominated during the zomdus. There are 41 new gup contestants this time.

Yesterday was the last day for the withdrawal of candidates. The campaign period for the candidates also began on November 25.

According to an election official in Samtse, there were no disqualifications due to complaints.

However, about 11 participants were disqualified due to party affiliation (seven), rejections related to security clearances (two), and nominations not being filed (two). They were all tshogpa candidates.

A former tshogpa candidate from Denchukha gewog, Lila Dhar Chapagai, 31, is contesting for the mangmi post this time. He will compete with three other contestants.

“When I started as a tshogpa, I was inexperienced. But now I have the experience and ideas,” he said.

“I find ideas to work in the larger field. Also, I am giving the people a choice. Not only for the opportunity but to prove myself to and serve the entire gewog.”

Candidates said that they were confident about bringing new ways to bridge between the people and the government and ensure development in the gewogs.

A former gup, who is contesting this time, said the local government should focus on schools in the community.

“We are living in a digitalised world. There are remote schools whereby the local government should play a vital role in terms of infrastructure and improvement,” he said.

“I think this is now the time to focus on schools at the local level,” he said.

While agriculture and livestock are always there, he said, there is a need to further improve.

Edited by Tshering Palden