The border gate in Phuentsholing

Border gate to open on poll day for Bhutanese residing in Jaigaon

Even with the border gate sealed on National Council poll day, Bhutanese living across the border would not have a problem casting their votes in Phuentsholing as most of them are from other dzongkhags, according to Phuentsholing drungkhag administration.

The officials said that Jaigaon residents from Chukha would be allowed to cross the border gate on poll day.

Chukha dzongkhag election officer, Ugyen Choden, said those who wish to come and vote on poll day in Chukha would be verified and allowed to enter.

She said a coordination meeting held with the drungkhag administration revealed that a majority of Bhutanese living across the border is from other dzongkhags.

Phuentsholing drungpa, Karma Rinchen, said Bhutanese from other dzongkhags, who opted for postal ballot facilitation booth could cast their ballot from today.

He said others, who didn’t register for postal ballot, would have to go to their respective polling stations in their dzongkhags.

Meanwhile, a Jaigaon resident, Sonam, said she did not register for postal ballot.

The private employee from Chapcha said she has not decided if she would go to vote. “But I am happy that they will allow us to go and vote.”

She said if she decides to vote, she would leave early for her polling station.

A businessman, Manzil Lama, who also lives across the border and is from Sampheling gewog said he would come to cast his vote if the officials allow him to enter on poll day. “Otherwise, I would have to abstain from voting.”

Since the postal ballot facilitation booth opens from today, those Bhutanese living in Jaigaon could cast their ballot until April 14.

There are two postal facilitation booths in Phuentsholing. Women could vote at Phuentsholing Middle Secondary School and while men at Phuentsholing Lower Secondary School.

Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

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