Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

With the exception of the Tashichholing gup, incumbent gups from the 13 remaining gewogs in Samtse stood in the dhamngoi zomdu. Former gups for the Denchukha and Norgaygang gewogs didn’t secure enough votes to qualify for the second round in the dhamngoi zomdu.

The 11 former gups who made it through will contest in the third local government election for another term.

The former gups said that the pandemic hampered work progress and delivering on their original pledges. They claim that their experience in administration and planning activities gives them an advantage.

“All the former gups will say the same thing about why we are running again,” a former gup said.

He said it takes two to three years to get familiar with the rules and policies. That is the point when a gup can really help people.

Former Tading gup, Jagat Bahadur Ghalley, 30, secured 392 “yes” against 85 “no” votes.


A dhamngoi zomdu in Doohuchen gewog

Jagat Bahadur said that he has learnt a considerable amount about the government rules and policies. It is his responsibility and duty to re-contest and serve, he added.

Tading has five chiwogs. Four chiwogs have contestants this time.

Pemaling gup, Khemraj Ghalley, 49 is also re-contesting this time. There were three contestants in his chiwog, Chhusilgang-Damesa. He secured 193 votes against his two competitors, who got 89 and 18 votes respectively. Should he win, it will be his fourth time as a gup, as he has served as gup since 2005.

Former Namgaychholing gup Ratna Bahadur Ghalley was the lone candidate for his chiwog. Of the 108 voters who turned up at the dhamngoi zomdu, 104 voted for him.

One of the candidates said that the world is driven by technology today and services are fast.

“I would like to see how I can better provide services to the people,” he said.

Further, he said that the 12th Five-Year Plan activities were incomplete.

Former cups said that although new gup candidates, if they are elected, will have the same intentions, it will take time for them to learn, while the former gups can start implementing the plans immediately.

Former Tendu gup, Nima Drukpa, who was the chairman of the Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT), has also sailed through the first round.

Former Yoeseltse gup Ganga Prasad Limbu also secured 119 “yes” and 14 “no” votes from his chiwog. He is contesting for the third term this time.

There are 78 dhamngoi zomdus in Samtse, including the thromde’s. Three zomdus are still pending, which are all for Tashichholing gewog.