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Gup who resigned agrees to bear by-election cost of Nu 242,000

The people of Dangchu gewog elected 34-year-old Pemba of Tashidingkha-Zimi chiwog as their new gup during a by-election yesterday.

Pemba secured 494 votes against his opponents Singye Wangdi who got 266 votes and Gyem Dorji who got 142.

Pemba earlier served as a mangmi from 2011 to 2016 and also contested for the post of gup during the local government election in September 2016, against the former Dangchu gup Sonam Dorji, who has resigned. He had lost the election to Sonam Dorji by 38 votes.

Prior to contesting for the local government election in 2011, Pemba served as a forester in Haa and Paro. He said that given his experience as a mangmi, he is optimistic that he will be able to serve the gewog with dedication and hard work.

The by-election saw 902 voters turn out, which included 99 postal ballots. The gewog has a total of 1,162  registered voters. Some voters had travelled all the way from Thimphu, Punakha and Phuentsholing.

A total of 902 of 1,162 eligible voters turned out for the by-election

The by-election was conducted after the former Dangchu gup Sonam Dorji resigned and left for Australia. Following his resignation the gewog was left without a gup for several months.

The former Dangchu gup Sonam Dorji agreed to refund the by-election cost that is around Nu 242,000.

Kumbu Dema, 22, a voter from Rigoen, Dangchu said that they elected Sonam Dorji as he had served the gewog with dedication and hard work. “We had high expectations from him, but he has resigned,” she said. The decision to resign and leave for Australia shocked the community.

“We hope the new gup will stay after assuming the office,” an elderly voter, Rinzin said.

Dangchu mangmi Sonam Dorji said the gewog has been without an administration officer and a geydrung for several months. One of the five chiwogs in Dangchu, Uesagang is also without a tshogpa. The by-election for Uesagang chiwog is expected to be held soon, and for which three candidates have taken the functional literacy test.

Meanwhile, official sources said the newly elected gup will assume office on completion of the 10-day petition period.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue

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