Phub Dem | Paro
Nine out of the 10 mangmis in Paro who completed their tenure recently are contesting for the post of gup in the ongoing local government (LG) election.
Except for the former mangmi of Wangchang, all mangmis have pitched themselves against most of their former gups.
Three gups have yet to decide, while seven former gups in Paro are running in the elections.
Most of them said they would need another term to carry out developmental work in their gewogs. They said that the first term was spent understanding the role and functions of the gewog offices. Some former gups said that they were contesting because the community members asked them to run again.
An aspiring gup candidate, former Dogar mangmi Kinley Penjor, said that most mangmis were confident about taking up the position, as they have five years’ experience and know its function.
He said that, unlike in 2016, more people were enthusiastic about the current dhamngoi zomdu. During the last election, he said that only 25 percent of the voters participated in the zomdu, but about 44 percent took part in the zomdu this time.
He said that locals were well informed about their choices and their impact on the developmental activities in the community.
Besides this, LG leaders confirmed that the number of LG participants have increased drastically this time. Many said that there was stiff competition in the chiwogs.
Many observers said that the increase in the number of participants could be because of the pandemic, as those formerly engaged in the tourism industry returned home. Some said that the LG post has become lucrative due to incentives and other opportunities.
An aspiring gup candidate who worked in the tourism sector decided to participate in the LG election so that people’s voices could reach the government. He said that the post of gups was usually saved for the vocal, older, and prominent individuals in the past rather than young people who had the potential to serve the community.
Dogar and Naja completed their dhamngoi zomdu last week. Former Naja mangmi received more votes than the gup in the dhamngoi zomdu. Naja has five candidates from each chiwog vying for the post of gup and three candidates have been nominated from the dhamngoi zomdu for the position of mangmi.
Two candidates from Dogar will be contesting for the post of gup on the poll day on December 22.
Dhamngoi zomdu in the dzongkhag began on November 4 from Wanakha-Zursoona chiwog in Naja gewog, Soe-Yagsa chiwogs in Tsento gewog, and Dawakha-Tshongkha chiwogs of Dogar gewog by three teams of election officials.
Dhamngoi zomdus in Doteng and Lungyni will finish today.
Dhamngoi zomdu in the remaining gewogs of the dzongkhag are scheduled for completion by November 18.
Edited by Tashi Dema