Chencho Dema

As the poll day for the National Assembly’s general election will happen in the peak of Bhutanese winter, the Dzongkhag Election Authority has sought approval from the Election Commission of Bhutan to establish a separate polling station for the convenience of voters from Laya and Lunana who have migrated to warmer places.

Registered voters from these gewogs will not be deprived of their right to vote, even if they have migrated to the warmer plain before the general round. Separate polling stations will be provided, with Goenshari Primary School serving as polling station for Lunana and Gasa Primary School for voters from Laya.

Migration to warmer places in Punakha and Wangdue, lasting more than three months, has been a longstanding tradition for residents of these highland gewogs. Some residents have already commenced their move to Punakha, with more expected to arrive in December.

The total registered voters include 599 for Lunana and 763 for Laya besides postal voters. Laya has only two persons with disabilities (PWDs); Lunana has none.

During the primary round on November 30, Laya had two polling stations, and Lunana had five.

Pema, the Dzongkhag Election Officer of Gasa, said, “Locals who had travelled to Punakha expressed satisfaction with the arrangements.”

A woman from Laya, in her 30s, expressed gratitude for being allowed to vote, even though she couldn’t do so during the primary.

Another voter praised the Election Commission of Bhutan for its effort.