With seven months still on for the post to be declared vacant, the dzongkhag election office is awaiting directives from the ECB

Election: Drametse gup Tshering Dorji in Mongar vacated office on November 28, exactly a year after he transferred his census to Ngatshang gewog.

Although the gup received no letter from the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) and the Department of Local Government asking him to vacate the post, the gup said that the Mongar Dzongkhag administration did issue an office order stating that the “handing and taking over” be done on November 28.

The gup handed over the office to Drametse Mangmi Ugyen Tenzin.

The issue of Gup Tshering Dorji transferring his census while in office was deliberated last week in the National Council with members saying that the gup has breached the Local Government Act.

In a telephone interview, he said the Mongar Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) had made an announcement of a vacant post for gup in Drametse gewog in its report that was sent to the ECB.

“I transferred my 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 can transfer before December 31, 2014,” the former Drametse gup said.

He said he transferred his census to contest for any LG post in Ngatshang gewog where his wife and children live. “Its difficult to work with such a long distance away from the family,” he said.

DT Chairman and Chasakhar gup Pema Dorji said they have been awating for his resignation letter on or before November 28.

“From November 29, the Drametse gup post is not for Tshering Dorji and as per the Local Government Act, 2009 and the Election Commission of Bhutan Act, the DT sent a report of vacant post to the chief election commissioner,” he said.

The former gup is now not eligible to vote or contest from Drametse gewog.

Mongar dzongkhag’s Election Officer Sangay Dorji said within a month a post becomes vacant,  a bye-election has to be conducted as per Acts.

With seven months more for the Drametse gewog gup’s post to be declared vacant for the next round of election, he said the Dzongkhag Election Office is ready to conduct the bye-election.  “We are waiting for the ECB’s announcement and directives,” he said.

Drametse Mangmi Ugyen Tenzin said the ‘handing and taking over’ was done as per the order of dzongkhag administration.

He also said that last week the former gup telephoned him about submitting his resignation letter. However, Ugyen Tenzin said he held a meeting with the public and decided not to accept his resignation letter until the dzongkhag administration or the ECB issued an order.

The National Council, last week, called on the government to take urgent and appropriate action against Mongar’s Drametse Gup for breaching the Local Government Act.

Tashi Phuntsho, Mongar