Dechen Dolkar 

The upcoming local government (LG) election has eight candidates with master’s degree contesting for gup and mangmi posts.

According to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), seven candidates, six men and a woman, are contesting for the post of gup, and one candidate for the post of mangmi.

ECB records also show there are about 245 university graduates contesting in the upcoming election. In the second election, about 150 university graduates contested.

Out of the gup candidates with master’s degrees, two are from Tsirang, one from Barshong, and one from Kilkhorthang gewog. The other candidates are from Ngangla gewog in Zhemgang, Drujeygang gewog in Dagana, Wangchang gewog in Paro, Tendruk gewog in Samtse, Serthig gewog in Samdrupjongkhar.

The mangmi candidate is from Ruebisa gewog in Wangdi Phodrang.

Meanwhile, 142 university graduates are contesting for the post of gup, 64 for the post of mangmi and 39 for the post of tshogpa.

There are also 490 women contesting in the third LG elections, out of which 81 percent are contesting for the post of tshogpa. While 399 women are contesting for tshogpa, 57 will contest for the post of mangmi and 27 will contest for the post of gup.

There are four female candidates contesting for thromde ngotshab in 14 dzongkhags, and three for thromde tshogpa in Samdrupjongkhar.

Election officials said that even in the first LG elections, 165 women contested, but less than half were elected. Only one woman was elected as gup in that round.

In the second LG election, about 11 percent of the total elected candidates were women. Two women gups were elected then.

Meanwhile, most of the tshogpas of the second LG term are re-contesting for the third LG election. Of the 590 candidates re-contesting, 87 are gups, 71 mangmis, and 432 tshogpas.

With the nominations completed on November 22, there are 18 tshogpa posts and one thromde tshogpa post vacant in ten dzongkhags.

ECB officials said that during the scrutiny of aspiring candidates on November 23, 42 candidates were disqualified because of security clearance certificates and political affiliations.

The poll day on December 22 will have 597 candidates contesting for the post of gup, 617 candidates contesting for the post of mangmi, and 2,263 candidates contesting for tshogpa. There are also two thrompon candidates, six thromde tshogpa candidates, and 29 candidates as thromde ngotshab.

Out of the 3,514 candidates in the third LG elections, 3,023 are men and 491 are women.

In the 2016 election, there was a total of 3,391 candidates.

There are 463,040 registered voters, out of which 15,174 registered for the conventional postal ballot, and 4,780 registered from the overseas postal ballot for the third LG elections.