Being the only woman contestant among the 13 contestants helped Sonam Pelzom from Dramangling village in Tsamang gewog book a seat in the National Council during the recent elections.

Of the 17 gewogs in the dzongkhag, Mongar fielded 13 candidates.

Tsakaling gewog NC candidate, Jamyang Loday said she enjoyed the advantage of being easily recognised by the people in the dzongkhag. “During gewog common forums, people easily spot her,” he said.

He said that during the door-to-door campaign, the candidates mostly came across women at home. Most often the men have left for work to far away places.

Even on poll day, more women voters turned out in droves to vote.

Going by their knowledge, experiences, and their networking ability, Drametse gewog nominee Ugyen Tshering said that the former NC member from Saling Naichu, Tshering Wangchen from Narang and incumbent NC member Sonam Wangchuk had advantages compared to the rest.

Ugyen Tshering said that Sonam Pelzom worked hard during the common forum in the gewogs, and the door-to-door campaign.

“I am happy that people have rightfully exercised their franchise,” said Naichu, the former NC from Saling gewog. “I will support and work with her.”

NC member-elect Sonam Pelzom, who is a mother of one, had lost her father suddenly at the peak of the race to the NC elections.

Her son went along with her during the common forum to all the gewogs and stood by her.

“I was worried to contest against an incumbent member and other well educated and experienced male candidates,” she said. “Women supported a woman.”

She said that she would work with dedication and render selfless service towards fulfilling the aspiration of all.

The NC member-elect secured the highest votes from postal ballot (PB) and EVM. She secured 1,394 votes from EVM and secured 1,012 PB votes.

In the second place, incumbent Sonam Wangchuk had 1,369 votes from EVM, and secured 670 postal ballots 252 less than Sonam Pelzom.

Rest of the nominees secured maximum votes from their gewogs.

Sonam Pelzom beat former NC member Naichu in his own gewog, and got 300 votes followed by Gongdue with 126 votes, Drepong with 124 votes, 115 votes Jurmey gewog, 81 from Mongar, and 67 votes from Chali gewog. She also received 361 votes from her gewog, Tsamang.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar