With 2,406 votes, Mongar elected the lone woman candidate, Sonam Pelzom as their National Council elect yesterday.

She secured 1,012 postal ballots and 1,394 EVM votes to beat 12 male candidates including the incumbent member.  Soon after the provisional results were announced, Sonam Pelzom who was at home was bombarded with messages and phone calls. She was at Drangmaling village in Tsamang gewog and had sent her representative to the counting centre.

“I am excited to win the election,” she said. The 32-year old said she was worried since she was contesting against an incumbent, well educated, experienced and popular male candidates.

“I am a mother of a year-old son. I took him along during the common forum to all the 17 gewogs and it was very tough,” she said. “But I didn’t give up.”

She believes that to enhance visibility and voice of women, the people of Mongar elected her. “I will work with dedication and selfless service towards fulfilling the aspiration of all,” she said  

An 84-year-old voter, Dorji Lham, who came to vote at Yadi Polling station in Ngatsang gewog, said this was an opportunity to fulfill the responsibility gifted from the throne.

Another voter, Karma Yangchen travelled from Thimphu to participate in the voting process. She said that since Mongar had the highest number of candidates, it was a good opportunity to make an informed choice.

After walking for almost two hours to reach the polling station at Narang, 73-year-old Kelzang Tshomo was the last person to vote.  

From the total eligible voters of 34,082, a total of 17,823 votes were cast in Mongar. 

Close behind the elect was Tshering Wangchen with 2,234 votes. Incumbent member Sonam Wangchuk secured 2,129 votes while Naichu won 2,097 votes. Chimi Dorji received 673 votes, Jamyang Loday secured 1,509 votes, Neten 1,219 votes, Pema Dorji 1,304 votes, Rinchen Dorji 1,052 and Tshering Penjor 589 votes. Ugyen Dorji secured 704 votes, Ugyen Tshering 511 and Yeshi Lhendup 1,436 votes.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar