Gearing for thromde elections

ELection: As thromde elections close in, Trashigang is steadily progressing towards the 2016 deadline.

With the boundary delimitation for Trashigang complete and the six constituencies approved, the dzongkhag election office is currently in the process of preparing the electoral roll for eligible voters.

Electoral registration officer (ERO), Sangay Phuntsho said the office has received all data from the thromde and the recently included parts of Pam chiwog and Melphey.

“The ground works are almost over. We are in the process of segregating the voter details and the draft electoral roll would be out soon,” he said. “This would then be followed by a field visit before finalising the electoral roll.”

Records show that about 844 voters would be exercising their right during the elections, after 138 households from Pam chiwog and Melphey fell within the thromde boundary.

With 166 eligible voters, Melphey constituency has the highest voter population while Pam-Tapteng has the least voters at 114. Mithidrang has 118 voters, Dzonglam-Kheri -154 and Chenari-Pam Maed has 134 voters. Pam Toed constituency has 158 eligible voters.

The total number of voters would again depend on the freezing date where by some voters may have attained 18 years of age given the base for the electoral roll was taken after August 1998.

The numbers might also increase with residents of Mithidrang owning properties opting to transfer their census from the gewogs to the thromde.

“But we expect the change in the number of eligible voters to be not more than 15,” Sangay Phuntsho said.

The dzongkhag administration has been repeatedly urging prominent businessmen and other residents of Mithidrang to transfer their census. Going by the records with the civil registration and census office, 14 residents transferred their census since 2014.

Thromde thuemi, Namgay said that almost 45 percent of residents in Mithidrang are yet to transfer their census. Excluding Pam and Melphey, only 280 people have their census registered with the thromde today.

“We are expecting additional potential voters from Mithidrang because some more are considering to transfer their census,” he said.

Initially, Rangjung town was also supposed to chip in with the thromde. This would have meant another 243 eligible voters. However, Rangjung was declared as a yenlag thromde.

The election office after consultation with the people had proposed for the boundary delimitation to include the whole of Pam chiwog. But when the parliament approved the boundary, some portions of Pam and Shangsheri village were left out.

This has left few landowners owning some portion of their land in the thromde premises and some inside the gewog territory. The issue was raised during the public hearing of the draft delimitation plan on July 9.

Landowners said this could create confusion in future. The member of the delimitation commission, during the pubic hearing, assured them that the issue would be taken up to the Parliament.

Once the delimitation is approved by the Parliament, delimitation rules state that any change would be possible only after another 10 years.

As per the approved delimitation plan, the thromde boundary would extend from Melphey village in the east until the end of Trashigang dzong in the west and from Samkhar ridge in the North to Rangshikhar ridge in the south.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang

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