Haa’s National Council member and deputy chair, Tshering Dorji, sailed through the Bji gewog nominations yesterday, securing a total of 526 votes, against Dawa Tshering who secured 223 votes.

Dawa Tshering last served as Samar gewog administrator. Both candidates are from Chungpa village.

Of the 749 voters, 321 were male and 428 were female.

Despite the cold weather and the wind, hundreds reached to cast their votes. A 61-year-old Lhabchu was among the many who closed his home in Talung to reach the gewog meeting hall. He said that voting and elections are a way for people to exercise their duties and rights.

“It is especially important, in choosing a person whom we believe would serve the people and country at large with the best of their abilities. Important works such as development depend on it. ”

He said that he had been voting since the first elections in 2008.

However, Tshering Bidha, 21, from Yangthang, cast her first vote yesterday. “It feels different and exciting too at the same time as many people come to vote.”

Sonam Pelden, 32, from Hatoe took leave from her work in Paro, to vote in the gewog nomination process. “Usually, I don’t come for gewog nominations as I always cast vote through postal ballots.” Currently, there are no postal ballots for the gewog nominations.

About 22 Voter Photo Identity Cards (VPIC) was made to facilitate voters yesterday. Haa’s election officer Tshering Penjor said, that he tried to visit every household to inform not only about the VPIC but also to inform about the zomdu time, update the electoral roll, and educate voters.

According to election officials, Bji gewog has the highest voter base with about 1,464 registered voters and Katsho has the lowest with about 909 voters.

There are about five NC candidates. However, election officials said that candidates could even declare their participation in the eleventh hour.

The Haa gewog zomdu meeting that began on Bji yesterday will end on March 8 after the conduct of Samar gewog zomdu.

Rinchen Zangmo | Haa