Postal ballots came to the rescue of Lumang candidate, Lhatu, who despite falling behind three candidates on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) votes, went on to secure a win in the third National Council elections in Trashigang yesterday. 

The former Member of Parliament secured 4,284 votes, of which 2,351 were cast through postal ballots. The 51-year-old councillor-elect secured 1,933 votes on the EVM.   

With 301 votes behind, Jamyang from Samkhar gewog secured 2,385 votes on the EVM, the highest among the seven candidates. Former teacher from Radhi, Sonam Tobgay R, came third securing 3,867 votes. The 39-year-old secured 2,353 votes, the second highest on the EVM. 

“I was confident that the results would be in my favour,” said Lhatu. “However, the EVM results came to me as a surprise. Given the number of postal ballots I secured, I was expecting a similar result from the EVM.”

Lhatu, who resigned as the director with Mountain Hazelnuts recently, said that the feedback and support he received during the campaign period indicated that the EVM votes would also be in his favour.  

“However, it was the combination of my experience as a MP and the interactions I had with people during my stay with Mountain Hazelnuts that got me the win today,” he said. “All in all, it was a good competition I received from my fellow contestants.” 

With 3,557 votes, Ugyen Dorji from Thrimshing came fourth followed by Chheki Wangchuk from Shongphu gewog who secured 2,494 votes. Pema Wangda from Udzorong won 1,404 votes followed by Ugyen Phuentsho’s 1,288 votes from Bartsham gewog. These figures are however, provisional.

Meanwhile, 80 polling stations were set up in Trashigang of which the furthest polling stations were in Khelephu and Khashateng chiwogs under Merak gewog.  

Of the total 46,983 registered voters, Trashigang received 20,868 votes including the postal ballots.

Younten Tshedup | Trashigang