There are only 23 eligible voters in Gasa

LG: With 23 eligible voters from one constituency, Gasa now also has an aspirant thrompon candidate.

Wangchuk, 25, of Phulakha constituency is the first and only aspirant thrompon candidate, who is preparing for the upcoming thromde election.

He graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 2015.

Wangchuk believes that his background could be useful for the dzongkhag’s yet to be developed township plans.

There are around six graduates from Phulakha but except for Wangchuk, the others work in Thimphu.

“If elected I want to focus on implementation of the ongoing town planning that is still with the works and human settlement ministry,” he said.

However, Wangchuk said he does not yet have clear information on whether there will be thromde election for Gasa.

Although the Gasa thrompon elect would be no different from other thrompons across the country, unlike other dzongkhags, the Gasa thrompon will be elected by the smallest electorate comprising of just three households  which includes 23 eligible voters.

Almost half of the eligible voters are either studying or residing outside Gasa.  Wangchuk’s own family has six eligible voters. The least populated dzongkhag will become the least populated thromde in the country.

Dzongkhag election officer Karma Tsheirng said they have conducted the first round of voter education for the thromde along with the people of Khatoed gewog recently.

Local leaders said prior to the dzongkhag thromde’s approval, they were worried that Gasa might miss yet another thromde election. The least developed dzongkhag could not elect a thromde thuemi during the last local government election.

While there are more than 100 business license holders in Gasa operating businesses in temporary sheds constructed below the dzong, none will be eligible to either contest or vote.

But it these business people who look forward to the new town that will be established in Kolikha.

Around 73 acres in Kolikha, not far from Gasa dzong has been mark for the town. In October last year, urban planners of the works and human settlement ministry presented the final draft review of the development plan to the dzongkhag.

But the draft-review is not yet finalised, as the dzongkhag sought to include the existing temporary town in the plan.

There is now a thromde thuemi and thromde tshogpa candidate from Phulakha, one of the six constituencies under dzongkhag thromde. The rest of the constituencies do not have registered eligible voters.

Dawa Gyelmo | Gasa