Deferment of thromde elections leave some aspirants in limbo

LG: Some of the aspiring local government candidates in Thangchu Gonpa village in Phuntshothang gewog are disappointed with the deferment of yenlag and dzongkhag thromde elections.

This is because they had earlier aspired to contest for the post of gup and mangmi and had appeared for the functional literary test (FLT).

Thangchu Gonpa is in Samdrupcholing chiwog.

But before the election could begin they got the news that the village by default was demarcated as part of the yenlag thromde and endorsed by Parliament, last year.

This left many aspiring candidates disappointed because this meant they would not be able to contest in the local government (LG) election.

A petition was submitted to the Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhag administration to not include the village as part of the yenlag thromde.

While no response has been obtained on the petition, a few aspiring candidates were still hopeful that they would be able to contest as a yenlag thromde theumi.

More than five decided to contest for the post of gup and mangmi including two women.

Some of the aspiring candidates Kuensel talked to had already processed the required documents.

However, when the Supreme Court recently issued a writ of mandamus to defer the dzongkhag and yenlag thromde elections, those who were prepared to contest for theumi expressed bewilderment because they could now neither participate in the LG elections.

A few of the villagers said it was disappointing that they couldn’t attend the August 13 chiwog zomdu because their new voter photo identity cards are for a yenlag thromde.

There are 59 households in Thangchu Gonpa.

Jigme Tenzin, who aspired to contest for the post of mangmi said a response from the government on their petition is still awaited but that in the meantime he decided to give up.

“I thought since government is not going to change their decision I will try for theumi but now we don’t even know where we belong,” he said, adding that he has lost his opportunity to exercise his franchise this time.

Another aspiring candidate, Sangay Lhamo, 28, who planned to contest for the gup post, said she decided to contest for theumi because she wanted to serve the people.

“I am little disheartened because now I cannot contest for both,” she said. “I had prepared so much on my pledges. I had worked hard to get all my documentation done but now all my work has been in vain.”

Another aspirant, Sonam Dorji who holds a degree in journalism and mass communication said he gave up his RCSC exams to take part in the election.

“I thought the election would come soon and so I didn’t register. I didn’t know that the election would be deferred but we hope they don’t call off the election, which will be sad for young aspiring candidates like us.”

Many villagers said that if it was not for the yenlag thromde demarcation, the chiwog would have more candidates to choose from.

An election official said no directives on the issue have been received yet.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupcholing

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