There are 17 gewogs in the dzongkhag

Tshering Namgyal | Mongar

The first dhamngoi zomdu for the third local government election in Mongar dzongkhag is scheduled to kick off from two chiwogs each from Ngatshang and Jurmey gewog, and Soenakhar-Yarab chiwog in Sherimuhung gewog today.

Ngatshang gewog has one of the highest numbers of candidates for the gup and mangmi positions.

The first dhamngoi zomdu for the gewog is scheduled in Yadi-Yekhar chiwog in the morning and in Pelshoob chiwog in the afternoon.

The dhamngoi zomdu in Thoombari-Zangdari chiwog and Nyingala-Phanasi chiwog will be conducted on November 6, followed by Ngatshang chiwog on November 7.

Of the seven gup candidates from the gewog, Yadi-Yekhar chiwog has four and Ngatsang, Thoobari-Zangdari, and Pelshoob chiwog have one candidate each.

There are also about seven candidates contesting for mangmi in the gewog.

Similarly, the first dhamngoi zomdu will also take place in Soenakhar-Yarab chiwog in Sherimung gewog today. The chiwog has two candidates for gup, and three each for mangmi and tshogpa.

The gewog also has one of the highest numbers of aspiring candidates, with seven each for gup and mangmi, and 12 people contesting for the position as tshogpa.

In Jurmey gewog, the first damngoi zomdu will be conducted in remote Kognala-Ya-Ragla chiwog, which has one gup candidate and three candidates for tshogpa.

In Bilam-Dangkila chiwog of the gewog, there are two candidates each for mangmi and tshogpa. The gewog has three candidates for gup, four for mangmi, and 10 for tshogpa.

Except for Gongdue and Ngatshang gewog, 15 former gups are re-contesting in the election.

Although the exact figure will be ascertained only towards the end of the dhamngoi zomdu in all 89 chiwogs, Mongar currently has at least 82 aspirants for gup, 75 for mangmi, and 231 for tshogpa in the third local government (LG) elections.

The 388 aspiring candidates for gup, mangmi, and tshogpa have informally expressed their interest to the gewog administrative officers who are gewog election coordinators in the 17 gewogs and the dzongkhag election office.

In the dhamngoi zomdu, each candidate contesting for gup and mangmi will be given 10 minutes to deliver a speech before electronic voting starts.

Since the number of gup and mangmi increased in 2016 elections, candidates have various reasons for contesting.

An aspiring mangmi candidate, Sangay, said he decided to contest to serve his community.

A former gup, who is recontesting, said people approached him to recontest. “I’ve got enough experience from the last tenure. I want to use this experience fruitfully if they give me another chance.”

Some observers said the perks have attracted more candidates. “With the government revising salaries and other entitlements for gups, making the position equivalent to P1 level, many want to try their luck,” said Kelzang, a town resident. “Even the salaries for mangmi and tshogpa have drastically increased. Our youth could now take it as an employment opportunity.”

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag has deployed five teams of election officials, comprised of three polling officials and two security personnel each, for the dhamngoi zomdu. dhamngoi zomdu in the dzongkhag are scheduled for completion by November 18.

Three offices of the returning officer were also set up in Mongar, Lingmethang, and Yadi.

Edited by Tashi Dema