The final common forum for Khatoed-Laya was held at Gasa Primary School on September 6.

Election officials reminded the voters about the need to elect the party that will benefit the country and the people.

“This round of election is not to elect candidates. We have four parties and it’s your responsibility to vote for the best,” an election official said. “I would also like to request you all to refrain from sharing to anybody about your vote.”

According to the official, election campaigns have given rise to division and separation among neighbours, party supporters, and families.

“The community is small and you cannot afford to be divided,” he said. 

The common forum for the constituency began from Laya, the gewog with the highest number of voters in the dzongkhag, on August 30. About 25 percent of the total registered voters turned up for the common forum in Laya.

The candidates of Bhutan Kuenyam Party (BKP), Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) shared a common pledge to do away with the 5 percent voucher tariff imposed by the former government.

“If elected we will do away with 5 percent voucher tariff and provide 1GB monthly free data,” said DPT’s Changa Dawa. Among his other pledges were upgradation of Gasa Primary School to lower secondary, introduction of non-formal education for the community to learn both English and Dzongkha.

He claimed that he understood the situation of the highlands the best.

“I hope to solve all issues concerning the community. Youth related issues are aplenty in the community and, being youth myself, I understand youth issues better. I represent youth in the politics,” said Changa Dawa.

BKP’s Damcho Zangmo urged the voters to elect a corruption-free government that would benefit the country and the people. The candidate stressed on the party’s vision to leave no one behind and the need to realise the independence. Building better quality roads, exemption of tax on agriculture products, facilitate the market for agriculture products, youth employment through entrepreneurship, and enhancing quality education were among her other pledges.

DNT’s Tenzin said the minimum tax the people paid because of voucher tariff was about Nu 300,000 per month while the tax for bigger institutions was waved. “In a year, more than Nu 4,000,000 was paid through voucher tariff. If we are to compare the tax paid and the development activities in the constituency, we have paid more tax,” he said.

He further added: “Gasa received only three PSL projects support while Pemagatshel received zero. Haa was approved with 43 PSL projects,” said Tenzin.

He informed the voters that improving health services, new township development, promoting tourism, encouraging entrepreneurship among youth, improving sanitation were among the pledges of his party.

PDP’s Damcho Dorji said the party was guided by the vision of Wangtse Chirphel and focused local government and rural people empowerment. “We continue with the same vision to further make the people in rural areas independent,” he said.

Increasing Gewog Development Grant, initiating One-Gewog-One-Product, funding Nu 20 million projects, communal warehouse, automobile workshop, additional power tiller, and ensuring every BHU with one doctor, two nurses among PDP’s pledges, he said.

The common forum for Lunana gewog of Khamed  Lunana constituency begins today at Thangza, Lunana.