Nima Wangdi 

Polling officials are at their respective polling stations in eight gewogs to conduct the second round of the third local government elections tomorrow.

The eight gewogs are Chapcha in Chukha, Dangchu, and Nyisho in Wangdue, Patshaling in Tsirang, Guma in Punakha, Korphu in Trongsa, Soe in Thimphu, and Lunana in Gasa.

Voters in the eight gewogs will elect their gups while Changyul-Loongsigang-Tashijong chiwog in Guma gewog will elect their tshogpa as well.

The media focal person of the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) Phub Dorji said they reissued postal ballots, conducted paper ballot facilitation booths and mobile voting booths for this round of elections.

Phub Dorji said in an earlier interview that the candidates who had audit clearance issues and were later cleared to contest in the election will be provided with a level playing field.

“We are all set for the poll day tomorrow,” Phub Dorji said.

This round of elections started with the filing of nominations by all nine candidates.

Although the election was conducted in all 205 gewogs on December 22, the eight gewogs could not elect gups and a tshogpa in Guma gewog because the candidates could not complete election procedures, owing to the audit clearance issues they faced.

The Royal Audit Authority revoked audit clearances for the nine candidates after the dhamngoi zomdu following letters from the Anti-Corruption Commission alleging their involvement in corruption.

ECB disqualified them from the election.

The candidates then appealed to the High Court but the court dismissed their case. However, the RAA reinstated their audit clearances on December 6.

The ECB issued a notification soon after stating that it rescheduled elections for the nine candidates following a letter they received from the RAA on December 6 reinstating their audit clearances.

“Upon receipt of the RAA’s decision and following a thorough review of the matter and relevant electoral laws, the ECB decided to reschedule the election for the eight affected gewogs,” the notification stated.