Chhimi Dema 

The National Council (NC) member elect from Haa, Dago Tsheringla, had the advantage of his experience as a school principal, and the large voter base in the upper parts of the dzongkhag.

Dago Tsheringla secured 2,690 votes from six gewogs, beating the incumbent NC member Ugyen Namgay by 589 votes.

A voter said that both the candidates were capable, however, the difference in registered voters between lower and upper gewogs of Haa could have had an impact on who got elected.

Bji gewog has the most voters among the gewogs (1,555 voters) followed by Samar gewog with 1,461 voters. Kartshog has 1,445 voters, Uesu has 1,364 voters, and Sangbaykha has 1,214 voters.

The voter said that as eligible voters in upper Haa in gewogs such as Samar, Bji, Kartshog, and Uesu are higher than the two lower gewogs it was an advantage for Dago Tsheringla who was from Samar gewog.

Haa had 8,447 voters and the voter turnout was 56.7 percent (4,791 voters) in this election.

Thinley, a farmer from Bali, said that voters should give equal opportunity to every candidate. “We know how capable the previous Member of Parliament was so now we have to see how capable the next would be.”

She said that as people put faith in Dago Tsheringla it would be up to him to see how he would serve the country and its people.

Kinley, a businessman, said that NC member elect who previously served as a school principal had “good” relationship with people in the community which could have been helpful in garnering support.

The number of voters in Haa increased by 789 voters this election compared to the NC election in 2018 which had 7,658 voters.

The voter turnout has decreased by 9.4 percent this year. In 2018, out of 7,658 registered voters, 5,059 people cast their votes.

Some say that people find it expensive to travel to vote. A registered voter of Paro living in Haa said that he did not go to vote in his village because it was “expensive” for him.

He said he has to hire a tax. “The turnout would be even better if people can cast their vote from where we are.”

While many find it important to vote, some people say that it is pointless to go and vote because it doesn’t make much difference since the NC members make no pledges related to development activities.