With 215 yes and 41 no votes, Bartsham gewog in Trashigang nominated their National Council candidate, Ugyen Phuntsho, during the dhamngoi zomdu  (nomination meeting) held at the gewog yesterday.

He is the lone NC aspirant from the gewog.

The 25-year-old candidate from Trashang chiwog has a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Population Studies from Sherubtse College in 2015.

After graduation, Ugyen Phuntsho returned to his village to start up a dairy farm.

At the Bartsham Central School hall, 256 voters turned up to cast their votes yesterday.

The first voter during the zomdu was Uchi, 69, from Trashang chiwog.

She said that this was her fifth time voting at the gewog. “I was in a hurry because I’ve pending works at home but I couldn’t miss this important opportunity at the same time,” she said.  “The decision we make today will shape the future of this village which is why I had to come and vote.”

Another villager, Dorji, said that because there was only one contestant, it was easier to make a decision this time. “I was expecting to see many pictures on the machine but there was only one on it,” he said. “It was an easy job for me but it would have been interesting if there were options.”

The voter turnout, according to the gewog officials had slightly increased from the last NC zomdu. Bartsham has about 2,428 voters including the postal ballots voters.

The village mangmi, Gatu, said that given the high number of gungtong at the gewog, the voter turnout during the last NC zomdu was less. “Many families have returned in the last few years which is why we see more turnout today,” he said. “People are now aware of the importance of elections and they come forward despite their busy schedule.”

He said it was encouraging to see a young individual representing the gewog for a seat at the house of the review. “Not undermining the candidate’s capabilities and knowledge, but experience is one thing that comes only with age,” he said. “The candidate is expected to be a bridge between the government and the people. A person should be at least 40 years old to carry this expectation.”

Meanwhile, three more dhamngoi zomdus were also conducted at Yangnyer, Khaling and Sakteng gewogs yesterday. However, there were no aspiring candidates from the three gewogs.

Of the 15 gewogs and throm in Trashigang, eight gewogs have at least an aspiring candidate each. Radhi gewog has two candidates. Phongmey, Kangpara, Yangnyer, Khaling, Merak, Sakteng, Kanglung and throm do not have a candidate as of now.

The dhamngoi zomdus that began yesterday will conclude on March 5.

Younten Tshedup | Bartsham