Chencho Dema | Punakha

The two National Council (NC) candidates of Gasa, incumbent NC member Dorji Khandu, and Tshering, a former vice principal of the Institute of Zorig Chusum, had different pledges but shared a commitment to serve with dedication.

Tshering, 49, from Khatoe Gewog, had six pledges but he could not speak about all his promises during the public debate on March 30. He said he would legislate for peace and welfare of the people.

“Due to the lack of land demarcation in Lunana, there were conflicts over cordyceps collection between residents of Gasa and Wangdue in 2018 and 2021. A land demarcation needs to be established for Lunana gewog.”

Tshering also pledged that he will review the development activities of the local government such as farm roads, irrigation, and construction, among others.

He said that he will review the nation’s policy on tangible and intangible cultural heritage, such as Goen Zhey, Layapi Aulay, and 13 arts and crafts.

Tshering is the nominee from Khatoe gewog. Of the 103 who attended the dhamngoi zomdu on March 2, 101 voted Yes and two voted No.

Tshering has a Bachelor’s degree in Language and Cultural Studies, and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Montana, USA.

Dorji Khandu, 37, had 10 pledges but chose to speak about the accomplishments of his prior pledges. He said that during his tenure through policy review Paris Pollyphilla was legalised and cordyceps collection time was extended and also supported Good to Great Gasa Initiatives.

Through the oversight function, blacktopping of the Punakha to Gasa Secondary National Highway was done and improved the livelihoods of the highlanders.

He said that he has a firm conviction and commitment to serve the nation in general and the constituency in particular through more than a decade of experience and expertise in businesses, engineering, and legislation. He would also be able to keep those of his opponent.

He was nominated from Laya gewog with 104 Yes votes and a single No vote during the Dhamngoi Zomdu held on March 3.

Dorji Khandu has a Bachelors in Engineering from Rangsit University, Thailand and double masters of Engineering from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and Business and Administration from University of Canberra, Australia.

Gasa had one candidate in National Council elections 2008, three in 2013, and four candidates in 2018.

Gasa has four gewogs: Laya, Khatoe, Khamed, and Lunana. The latter two gewogs did not nominate a candidate.

There are 2,279 eligible registered voters for the 2023 NC election while in 2018 there were 2000.