The Cabinet of the interim government has lifted the embargo implemented during the election period that had led to the deferment of tshechus in Chukha and Jakar, Bumthang.

The second day of Chukha and Jakar tshechu falls on the poll day, October 18.

Chukha dzongkhag administration on August 24 announced that the tshechu was postponed. The notification was based on an internal meeting. The notification was cancelled later after receiving a directive from the Cabinet to conduct the tshechu as per the schedule.

Following the Cabinet directive, Chukha dzongkhag administration has requested postal ballot facility for those participating in the tshechu.

Local government leaders, dzongkhag administration staff, dancers and the performers will be engaged in the tshechu during the poll day for the general round.

The dzongkhag administration has sent a list of the people engaged during the poll day to the home ministry to avail postal ballot facility.

“The ministry will discuss and request the election commission for postal ballots,” Chukha dzongdag Minjur Dorji said.

In Bumthang,the dzongkhag administration had also earlier notified the people that the Jakar tshechu would be held after the elections.

However, on September 10, the dzongkhag administration revoked the first notification stating that the three-day tschechu would be held beginning October 17. “This is as per the directive of the Cabinet to conduct the tshechu in keeping with the tradition,” the notification stated.

Bumthang Dzongdag Passang Dorji said the administration is also exploring a possibility to provide postal ballot facilitation booth for the dancers. “We are discussing with the home ministry, Cabinet and the election commission,” he said.

There are 34 mask dancers from all the gewogs and 14 female dancers from Chhumey gewog. The gewogs take turns to gather female dancers.

Some residents in Chamkhar said that the tshechu coinciding with the poll day would affect the voter turnout. However, a 35-year old resident feels otherwise.

“For Bumthaps, the most important festival is the Jampa Lhakhag Drup, where the popular naked dance is performed. Huge crowd turn up during that festival compared with the Jakar tshechu, which was instituted later,” he said.

Another resident said it would mostly be the civil servants and corporate employees who actually come to witness the Tshechu and most of them would be using the postal ballot facilities.

The election commission has already closed postal ballot registration for the 2018 parliamentary election.

ECB has received the requests from the dzongkhag administrations and has asked the dzongdags to manage these issues in their respective dzongkhags.

Tshering Dorji and  Nim Dorji