LG: The Zhemgang dzongkhag election dispute settlement committee will call both the complainant and accused for a hearing regarding the complaint lodged against the former Goshing gup, Sangay Lethro.

Zhemgang dzongrab, Namgay Rinchen, said of the four allegations against the gup, the committee withdrew one in which the former gup was accused of misusing Nu 50,000 from the budget allocated for construction of a basic health unit (BHU) in the gewog a few years ago. “Since the issue was not related to election, there is no point looking into it.”

The dzongrab also said that the complainant, who was a former tshogpa then, should have reported the matter to the authorities then.

The tshogpa had alleged the former gup of sponsoring football uniforms for players who participated in the Panbang monsoon football competition, distributing rice to the people and influencing the voters.

Though the committee has not come to a conclusive decision, the dzongrab said that the investigating team found most of the allegations were not substantial. “Regarding the uniform, the complainant stated that he saw one of the team captains travelling in the former gup’s car while coming back from the Indian town, Borobisa, but there is no proof that the gup sponsored the uniform,” Namgay Rinchen said. “The rice distribution allegation is also not true, as the bags of rice were sent by the gup’s wife for sale from Phuentsholing.”

Officials from the dzongkhag said the complainant could report to a higher authority if he is not satisfied with the decision taken at the dzongkhang level.

The complainant, who contested as a mangmi candidate from Samcholing-Lemapong chiwog, verbally informed the lower Kheng returning officer of the former gup’s involvement in corruption practices.

According to the returning officer, the complainant, who lost the election from his chiwog and later contested for tshogpa, told him that the former gup sponsored local footballers and uniforms for youth players.

In his earlier interview, the returning officer said the former gup, who is under the Anti-Corruption Commission’s radar, was nominated from his chiwog and had even filed his nomination papers.

Tashi Tenzin