LG: That a gup plays an important role in the local government was evident from the bye-election in Drametse on Tuesday.

The gewog was without a gup for almost a month. The new gup will only have a few months before he steps down for the next round of election. Yet there were three candidates and 640 voters including six postal ballots.

The voter turn out was still poor with only 29 percent of the total eligible voters showing at the polls. There are 2090 eligible voters registered in the constituency.

Rinzin, 63, won the election securing 309 votes. Kinzang Tshering secured 294 votes and Rinzin Wangdi 37. All six postal ballots went in favour of Kinzang Tshering

Gup elect Rinzin had contested in past local government elections without success and said he is happy to have finally won although the post is only for a few months. He is a farmer.

To have a gup in the gewog means a lot to the voters. “When the officiating gup, the Mangmi is out of station for official duties, we have to wait for days,” said a voter, Ugyen Dema. Another voter, Choni, 44 had walked for five hours from Thoongdari to Drametse Middle Secondary School polling station. “Without a gup a lot of work gets stuck,” she said.

Tshoki Choezom, 66, admitted of not being able to identify the photographs of the candidates. But she said that she was happy that the gewog finally ha a gup. “Whoever wins would be good for the benefit of the people, ” Tshoki Choezom said.

Drametse gup Tshering Dorji in Mongar vacated office on November 28, exactly a year after he transferred his census to Ngatshang gewog following an announcement from the ECB, which stated that those who intend to take part in the next local government election in 2016 could transfer before December 31, 2014.

The bye-election in Drametse was third bye-election held in Mongar after two bye-elections in Mongar gewog gup’s post. In the Drametse gup’s post bye-election, spent more than Nu 370,000.