The LG elections will be held on Sept. 27

LG: A total of 616 candidates were selected for the post of gup, out of which 27 were women.

According to a press release from the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) issued on August 31, 906 aspiring candidates stood for gup at the zomdus. Fifty of them were women, and 856 were men.

The last chiwog zomdu was held on August 28.

The number of selected women gup candidates is over four percent of the total nominees. About 54 percent of those women who stood as candidates at the zomdus were selected.

The figures show that men were more successful than women in securing the nominations at the zomdus, with 69 percent of the men who stood as candidates getting selected.

A total of 1,052 zomdus were conducted across the country by a total of 90 teams of officials from the respective dzongkhags in all 205 gewogs. This includes the zomdus in the Samdrupjongkhar thromde.

A total of 101,060 voters, which is slightly over 25 percent of the total eligible voters nationwide, turned out to participate in the zomdus.

Similarly, a total of 654 mangmi candidates were selected at the zomdus. According to the ECB, 926 stood as candidates at the zomdus, of which 122 were women and 804 were men.

Out of the total selected mangmi candidates, 78 are women and 576 are men. This translates to over 11 percent women participation as candidates for the polls.

In the Samdrupjongkhar thromde, there was only one female and two male aspiring candidates for the post of thrompon. One man and one woman have been nominated for the polls.

A total of 22 zomdus saw aspiring candidates being rejected with more “No” votes than “Yes” votes with negative voting for three women and 19 men.

Officials on zomdu duty encountered five cases of tied results, where re-election had to be held.

August 31 was the last date to file nomination papers. Scrutiny of nomination papers was carried out on September 1.

Election campaign will start on September 3 and end on the 25 of the same month.

A dispute each was appealed to the Central Dispute Settlement Body from the Samdrupjongkhar thromde and Loong-Nyi gewog of Paro.

According to the ECB, a common concern expressed by the people was the lack of postal ballot facilities in the zomdu process. The ECB clarifies that it is necessary for candidates to be already selected and known to the ECB to make postal ballot facility available for the voters.

Where as, it is only during the zomdus that the candidates are first known and selected by the electorate, the commission stated. “The postal ballot is not possible in zomdu and it is not a matter of mere inconvenience,” it stated.

The gup and mangmi candidates combined, there are 1,270 candidates. The ECB however, did not reveal figures for tshogpa candidates.

Bhutan will go to the polls on September 27.

MB Subba