Educating voters in Wangdue for upcoming elections

Election: More than 40 officials from Thimphu and Wangdue including dzongkhag and gewog administration officers, dzongdags, drungpas and dzongrabs are attending a three-day training of trainers on voter education in Bajo.

The training is to help officials educate voters about the functional literacy test, on what documents are required, dispute settlement, and importance of educating voters to elect the right candidates.

Election officials said voters should be educated on the importance of electing candidates that possess four main qualities including working for the benefit of the community and representing the people.

Election officials said the voter education is conducted once before every election, and this is for the upcoming local government election.

Participants were briefed about the legal provisions in the Constitution and electoral laws related to local government, primary roles and functions of elective offices and polling station status.

Presenting the candidates’ criteria, election officials said for thrompon, the person should have formal university degree recognized by the government, and in case of local government election, functional literacy test is a must.

While filing nomination, apart from other documents, the candidate has to submit a written document stating that he has no affiliation with any political parties and has declared his assets.

The three-day training will also focus on dispute settlement at the local level, election campaign, campaign financing, election returns and code of conduct.

Wangdue’s electoral officer Dorji Wangdi said dzongkhag electoral officials recently conducted the first voter education and covered topics like e-roll verification in gewogs, registration of voters, de-registration of the deceased and monk or nuns, registration of former monks and transfer of census and polling stations.

Meanwhile, around 150 people from 14 of the 15 gewogs of Wangdue have registered to sit for functional literacy test, as of now. Of that, 71 registered were female against 79 male.

Election officials said they are hoping to see more candidates sit for the test with more focus on female candidates. The registration for the test will remain open till April 15.

Except for three female tshogpas, the rest of the local government leaders including gups, mangmi and tshogpas of all 15 gewogs were male dominated during the first LG election.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue

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