Experience and relationship with the community helped Sangay Dorji, 38, win the National Council seat in Chukha. 

Sangay Dorji, who served as an educator for 13 years said people see career ladders and experience before they vote. Relationship with the community is important, he added. “I know children from a lower school to high schools,” he said. “And at this juncture, people are well aware.” 

His popularity worked. Of the total 15,066 voters who turned up to vote on poll day, Sangay Dorji swept 5,079 votes that makes about 33 percent. 

“I want to thank people for their trust and confidence,” he said. 

Sangay Dorji also won against his five competitors in both Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and postal ballots votes. He won 1,163 postal ballots, about 44.7 percent of the total 2,597 postal ballots accepted in Chukha.

Going by the voters’ turnout gewog wise at the polling station, Sangay Dorji’s experience as a principal in Pakshingkha Central School in Bongo gewog worked. He is also from Bongo.

Sangay Dorji secured 1,399 votes out of 1,780 votes, which is about 78.5 percent. Chukha’s second favourite Hem Kumar Ghalley, 32, received just 11 votes from Bongo.

Meanwhile, Darla (Tala) gewog, without a candidate of its own was the place all six Chukha NC candidates worked hard for as it had the highest number of eligible voters. Sangay Dorji and Hem Kumar Ghalley secured 1,037 and 1,010 votes respectively.

There were six NC candidates from Chukha. Bjachhog gewog’s candidate Tshewang Lhamo, who served in the NC in 2008 – 2013 term, secured 2,018 EVMs and 440 postal ballots.

Kinlay Dorji of Geling gewog managed 1,516 EVM votes and 209 postal ballots. Damcho Gyeltshen from Logchhina wrestled 584 EVM votes and 100 postal ballots.

Incumbent member Pema Tenzin secured 1,586 (with postal ballot) votes. 

There were 71 polling stations across Chukha.

Postal ballot

From the 3,616 postal ballots registered, Chukha received 2,735. Of the total, 2,597 were accepted and 138 rejected.  

Returning officer (RO) Phendey L Wangchuk said that most rejected ballots did not complete the process. “We don’t know if its carelessness,” he said.

The RO said the IDC form should be filled and put in Envelope A, but people have put in in Envelope B. In another case, some registered postal ballot voters have signed the “competent witness” on their own. Another registered voter should sign it.

In Sampheling gewog centre polling station, one voter, Budhi Maya Rai, 43, from Malibasey village was not allowed to vote. She was already registered as a postal ballot voter.

“I am surprised,” she said, adding that she did not know how this had happened. “I did not ask anybody to register for postal ballot.”

Phendey L Wangchuk said she could be a dependent and other people in her family may have registered for her. 

In terms postal ballot turn out, the facilitation booth for postal ballots was more popular than the conventional ballot system. About 1,767 of the total 2,507 voted at facilitation centres and the remaining 830 sent their ballots through the conventional system.

Rajesh Rai | Chukha