LG: The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has notified eligible candidates who are interested to contest in the upcoming local government (LG) elections to keep ready the necessary documents that would be required for filing their nominations.

The announcement comes following the conclusion of a fresh round of functional literary and competency test (FLT) on February 3. The ECB declared the FLT results on February 10.

The ECB is expected to soon call for elections for all vacant LG posts. There are about 60 various LG posts up for grabs, including a gup post in Dangchu gewog in Wangdue.

Out of the total 56 aspiring candidates who registered for the FLT this month, 50 showed up to take the test. A total of 47 (34 male and 13 female) passed the test and will be awarded certificates by the ECB.

The number of aspiring local leaders has increased sharply over the years. There are now more than 3,000 probable candidates with FLT certificates.

The FLT questions were related to the responsibilities, power, authority and duties of local leaders. The question papers covered computational, analytical, managerial and correspondence skills.

Lack of candidates with FLT certificates has been one of the main problems facing local government elections. However, with the ECB conducting functional literacy tests on a regular basis, more candidates are expected to come forward.

Phuentsholing Thromde and a few gewogs have remained without quorums to constitute tshogdes that are the decision-making bodies. They include Lingzhi gewog in Thimphu.

In Lingzhi gewog, there are five tshogpa constituencies, but four are vacant due to a lack of candidates. Elections in the gewog were held in September.

There should be at least five elected members to constitute a quorum for a thromde tshogde. The criterion is the same for a gewog tshogde.

A thromde administration or a gewog administration is handicapped without a quorum. Important decisions most be passed by a tshogde. Due to a lack of tshogpas, people feel their chiwogs are not represented properly.

Gewog and thromde budgets have to be endorsed by a tshogde. Lingzhi gup, Wangdi, said the gewog administration faced difficulties when it came to allocation of gewog development grants (GDG).

Gasa, Mongar, Pemagatshel and Paro do not have thromde ngotshabs, a post equivalent to the mangmi.

MB Subba