Two people take shelter from heavy rain under a roadside vegetable shed in Drukjyegang, Dagana.

They are discussing politics and which gewog will support which party. They often use their fingers to calculate.

They say they have capable candidates in their constituency, Drukjyegang-Tseza. While some have the qualification and work experience, others know the difficulties in the villages.

Sangay Wangchuk, 43, said that irrespective of the qualification, a party with a candidate who is well versed about his constituency should be elected.

“Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has qualification norms, the candidate should qualify voters norms,” he said. “He or she should know the constituency’s requirements.”

His friend, Pema Tshewang, 62, said he would judge a party and the candidates differently.

He said he would go by the candidate’s profile. “Qualification is important but experience matters a lot when it comes to implementing plans.”

Having the right candidate for the right party is important for him. “If we like the party and not the candidate, votes will divert. That’s when things start going wrong.”

In the Drukjyegang-Tseza constituency, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) has Chador Wangmo from Kana gewog.

She contested in the recent National Council election but lost in the gewog nomination round. She is, however, familiar with the people of her constituency.

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has Jurmi Wangchuk from Drukjyegang.

People say that although he did not stay in the village much, he has the qualification and also served abroad.

Migma Dorji from Largyab gewog will contest for Druk Phuensum Tshogpa.

He is the youngest candidate but people say he has build a good relationship with the public, which could help him garner votes.

The former National Council member, Sonam Dorji, also from Kana gewog is People’s Democratic Party candidate. Voters say his two terms as their NC representative has made him known in the constituency.

The seven gewogs of Drukjyegang-Tseza constituency has a total of 12,469 eligible voters.

A farmer in Drukjyegang, Padu, 67, who just returned from renovating an irrigation channel, said they depend on rainfall to grow their paddy.

He said they want a candidate, who understands their issues.Padu said he knows all the candidates, parties, their pledges and manifestoes.

He said he watched television for the updates. “My vote is decided. I’m just waiting to press on the electronic voting machine.”

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang