After securing 220 yes votes and 29 no votes, the former Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) reporter, Surjaman Thapa, made through the gewog nominations for the National Council (NC) elections yesterday.

He will now vie for the seat from Geserling gewog. Surjaman Thapa said he was happy that people voted for him to represent them. “I am hopeful that people will support me in the dzongkhag level,” he said.

The gewog has 1,351 eligible voters.

In Lhamoizingkha, a former Kuensel employee, Suraj Pradhan, 38, won at the gewog level yesterday after securing 308 votes against his four opponents, Krishna Bahadur Tamang’s 99 votes, Dawa Norbu’s 91 votes and Prakash Sharma’s 85 votes.

Of the 2,055 eligible voters from the gewog, 583 people voted.

Drujeygang gewog nominated Kinzang Gyeltshen as their candidate after securing 351 yes votes and 120 no votes yesterday.

One of the two aspiring candidates from the gewog, Dawa, was disqualified, as he could not produce the voter photo identity card (VPIC).

Dagana dzongkhag’s electoral officer, Rigzen Lhundrup, said that they had to disqualify him because the candidate couldn’t produce the required documents.

“We notified the candidates before the zomdu and we cannot consider if the required document couldn’t be produced in front of the voters at the nomination zomdu,” he said.

Drujeygang has 2,337 eligible voters.

In Dorona, Wangdi, 32, from Lalidhapper was nominated after securing 137 votes against his opponent Suk Man Mongar’s 128 votes.

Wangdi graduated from Sherubtse College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in computer application and worked as a computer teacher. He also contested as a gup candidate in the 2016 local government elections.

Wangdi said people nominated him with trust and faith. “I am also given extra responsibilities to face a bigger challenge.”

In Larjyab gewog, the lone candidate, San Man Gurung, was nominated after securing 152 yes votes and 23 no votes.

Meanwhile, voters had various reasons for participating in the process.

In Geserling, two visually impaired people took part in the zomdu nomination process.

A 63-year-old woman, who resettled in Gesarling in 2000, said that she lost her vision 13 years ago.

Karma said she has been taking part in every election and zomdu processes since she felt that it is every citizen’s responsibility to choose the right candidate.

Her husband brought her to the gewog centre and she said that without the help of her husband and neighbours she can’t go anywhere.

“When we are given a choice to choose the right candidate, we should use that opportunity since voting is an important right in our society and many people sit back and relax during the election process not knowing that one vote might change the decision,” Karma said.

She said that inside the voting compartment, she tells the person who goes with her who she wants to vote for and that person drags her finger and presses the button.

“I take the person whom I trust and I have full faith in them that they just do it as per my choice,” Karma said.

Karma is happy that she need not have to come to the polling station to vote during the NC election since the dzongkhag electoral officer told her that people with disability would be provided mobile polling booth services.

Rigzen Lhundrup said that the mobile polling booth services would be provided only to differently abled voters.

“A team will be there during the poll day to provide mobile polling booth services to make it convenient,” he said.

In Dorona, Man Bahadur Subba, 78, from Nimtola said that he participated in all the elections and zomdu as it is important for every individual to choose the right candidate.

“Every citizen who is eligible to vote are given the voter card and it is every individual’s responsibility to choose the right candidate to represents us,” he said.

Another voter, 36-year-old Lal Bahadur Monger came all the way from Thimphu to attend the gewog dhamngoi zomdu.

“Despite the bad road condition, I felt that participating in the zomdu is important because we are given the right to choose our candidate to represent the gewog,” he said.

He also said that he is excited this time, as the gewog never had any candidate to contest for the past NC elections. Dorona gewog has 1,286 eligible voters of which 690 are male and 596 female. 265 people came to vote at the dhamngoi zomdu.

Yeshey Dema | Dagana