LG: Voters were gathered in Pelrithang, Gelephu yesterday to discuss what was going on with the election results. The differing results announced through Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) and on Election Commission of Bhutan’s website left voters and candidates confused and frustrated.

In Gelephu gewog, voters watching BBS on September 27 were told that the former mangmi Sonam Pelden was the gup-elect after securing 266 votes. However, a while later, they received calls from the candidates saying the results were different on the ECB website. Sonam Pelden had lost by 50 votes to Ugyen Wangchuk.

“Which of these results are we supposed believe in?” asked one voter. “This is annoying. It’s disappointing for the candidates too.”

For the post of mangmi too, the results announced on BBS and the ECB website did not match. According to BBS, Sonam Dakpa was declared the winner having secured 244 votes, but ECB said he lost to his opponent Ram Chandra Gurung by 134 votes.

A voter said: “This is utter carelessness by the election commission.”

Until yesterday evening, voters and candidates in Sarpang and Dagana were still wondering which results to believe. “This kind of carelessness will lead to people doubting the entire election procedure,” said another voter.

In Dagana’s Geserling gewog, Pema Wangmo Tamang had lost according to results announced on BBS, but according to ECB website, she had won by 22 votes against Mani Kumar Ghishing’s 344.

“I still don’t know if I won or lost,” said Pema Wangmo Tamang. “I’ll have to confirm with the returning officers.”

Sarpang’s election officials said that the confusion arose because the results announced on BBS were not final because the votes counted were only from the Electronic Voting Machines.

“Results announced on the ECB website is the final; there is nothing to be confused about,” an election official said.

Sarpang re-elected the formers gups of Chuzagang, Sompangkha, Gakidling, Sengye, Umling and Dekiling. The other six gewogs went for new candidates.

The new gup-elect of Chudzom gewog is Bishnu Prasad Rai and the gup-elect of Gelephu gewog is Ugyen Wangchuk.

Jigmechholing voted for the former mangmi Kumar Gurung. He secured 836 votes, of which 102 were postal votes. Kumar Mongar, who secured 660 votes, is the gup-elect of Samtenling gewog. In Serzhong gewog, Tshering became the new gup by securing 728 votes. Tareythang gewog also voted for a new face, Narayan Neopany.

The lone woman gup candidate in Sarpang, Jigme Yangzom, who contested from Serzhong gewog, lost to her two opponents. She secured the least votes at 134.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang