Around 25 villagers attended the common forum held in Maan-Tshelingkhor chiwog in Zobel gewog

LG: The voters of Maan-Tshelingkhor chiwog in Zobel gewog looked lost when their gewog’s gup, mangmi and tshogpa candidates started delivering their pledges in Dzongkha during the first common forum.

Some 25 villagers had turned up for the common forum at the Tshelingkhor outreach post, 24km from the gewog centre.

The gewog has one gup candidate, a woman mangmi candidate and the chiwog has two tshogpa candidates to vote for in the upcoming local government (LG) election.

Gup aspirant Pema Dorji, who secured 122 Yes votes and 29 No votes during chiwog zomdu, promised to work hard to serve people. Although water shortage has been almost solved in the gewog, he promised to bring water connectivity wherever it is needed if he is elected.

“We’ve plans to construct a farm road from Maniwoong to Pangthang in Tshelibgkhor and, this time, I will make sure it happens,” he said. “Don’t listen to others and vote whoever you think will bring developments in your gewog because it should be your own choice.”

Karma Tshering who has also served as a mangmi promised he would work hard to solve the water shortage in the chiwog.

“I’ve pledged that I will contribute Nu 1,000 from my salary whenever any villager has to go to hospital with emergency,” Karma Tshering said. He added that he would make sure to also raise the pollution issue created by gypsum mining and make sure that each household gets shares.

But mangmi candidate, Sonam Choden, who was a former mangmi, said that a mangmi has more of a housewife responsibility to look after the office when the gup is not present. “But I will fulfill my responsibilities as much as possible.”

Both the tshogpa candidates promised to work hand in hand with the gup to bring development.

Although the aspirants gave their best to convince the voters, the voters said the common forum would have been more useful if it was conducted in Tshangla like in the 2011 LG election.

It is mandatory to a conduct common forum in Dzongkha.

Some voters said that they could just see candidates move their lips and might have to go for the candidates that they are familiar with.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Pemagatshel