Bumdeling elects new gup

Neten Dorji | Trashigang

A former soldier, Phub Thinley from Gangkhardung, is the new Bumdeling gup after he secured 419 ‘yes’ votes in the bye-election conducted yesterday.

The gup elect will serve until the next local government elections scheduled next year.

Phub Thinley

Phub Thinley

He is Bumdeling’s third gup in the last four years.

The first Bumdeling gup, Mani Wangdra, who was elected in the 2016 local government election, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for raping a minor girl.

The second gup, Yeshi Dorji, was sentenced for two years and 10 months in prison for forging documents in May this year.

Although the Election Act mandates a bye-election to be conducted within 30 days from the date of the vacancy, the bye-election was withheld due to a pandemic.

Gup-elect Phub Thinley will, however, serve the remaining period of the gup’s tenure as per section 580 of the Election Act of Bhutan, which states that a member elected to fill a casual vacancy shall only serve for the remainder of his or her predecessor’s term of office.

Although there were three candidates for the gup post, the other two candidates were disqualified since one was a registered member of a political party and the other had criminal record.

Phub Thinley would join office on December 3 when the election petition period ends.

A 34-year-old voter, said he voted the gup expecting he would continue the development activities of the community.  “It is better to have a gup than to keep the post vacant.”

Meanwhile, the voter turn out of the bye-election was only 24 percent.

Of the 2,198 registered voters in the gewog, only 528 exercised their franchise, 387 on electronic voting machine (EVM) and 141 through postal ballots.


Goenshari elects mangmi

Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

Securing 35.9 percent of the total votes cast, Lhab Tshering, 40, from Zhelngosa is elected as the new mangmi of Goenshari gewog in Punakha.

While Lhab Tshering, who is a former monk, secured 131 votes, the other two candidates for the post, Leki from Gumgang and Kuenzang Tshering from Draachhukha secured 120 and 115 votes.

 Lhab Tshering

Lhab Tshering

Goenshari gewog did not have mangmi for about seven months after the former mangmi died of health complications in April this year.

Of the 539 registered voters in the gewog, 366 votes were counted yesterday, of which 80 were postal ballots. Five postal ballots were rejected.

Five polling stations, Draachhukha, Gumgang, Zhelngosa, Kapatabsa and Yorbu, were set up in the gewog. With 165 registered voters, Zhelngosa had the maximum number of voters of the five stations.

According to the Local Government Act, if a vacancy occurs in a local government for any reason before the expiry of its term, the chairperson shall without delay address a warrant to the election commission or officer of the locality to issue of a writ for elections to fill such vacancy, provided the remainder of the term is not less than six months.

Officially, the post remained vacant for about six months since the vacancy was reported to the election office on May 11.

According to Punakha dzongkhag election officer, Damcho Lhamo, the election was delayed due to the global pandemic.

Meanwhile, the gewog administration had earlier expressed concerns over lack of mangmi leading to issues in providing services to the public.


Former soldier becomes Zobel tshogpa

 Karma Jurmey

Karma Jurmey

A former soldier, Karma Jurmey, 47, is elected as the tshogpa for Ngangmalang-Zorjug chiwog tshogpa in Zobel, Pemagatshel, yesterday.

In the bye-election conducted yesterday, Karma Jurmey secured 86 ‘yes’ votes in the electronic voting machine (EVM) and 165 ‘yes’ votes in postal ballot. He also got 46 ‘no’ votes in EVM and 23 ‘no’ votes in postal ballot.

There are 667 registered voters in the chiwog.


Peljorling chiwog elects tshogpa

With 101 ‘yes’ votes and seven ‘no’ votes, Krishna Lal Sanyasi was elected as the new tshogpa for Peljorling chiwog in Phuentenchu gewog, Tsirang.

Krishna Lal Sanyasi

Krishna Lal Sanyasi

The chiwog did not have tshogpa, as the former tshogpa died.

Of the 451 registered voters in the chiwog, 108 people voted through electronic voting machine and 25 people sent postal ballots.