Phub Dem | Haa

Except for the former gup of Bji, Passang, who was re-elected, five former gups lost to new candidates in the third local government election from six gewogs in Haa.

Except for Gakiling and Samar, other gups-elect from Uesu, Katsho, Sombaykha had served as gups in past years.

The former gup of Bji gewog, Passang was re-elected with 445 votes out of the five contestants for the post in the gewog. Katsho elected Phuntsho Norbu of Ingo-Pharikha. He secured 297 votes against two contenders.

Uesu Gewog had only two contestants for gup’s position after the former Uesu gup didn’t qualify through the dhamngoi zomdu.

Tenzin Jamba of Betso-Dumcho won against Pema Dorji with 701 votes. Tenzin Jamba served as a gup during the first LG tenure between 2011 and 2016.

Rinzin Dema from Haa said that locals preferred former and experienced gups over the new candidates. “People become sceptical when new faces emerge out of nowhere to contest.”

Samar Gewog chose new gup Namgyel Tenzin from Lamgpa-Norbugang with 421 votes against three other constants, including former gup Tshewang Tobgay, who secured 373, Tashi Tshering 246 votes, and Jampel Dorji with 387 votes.

In Gakiling, former gup Gashey lost to the new candidate Wang Tshering. The PBFB pushed his chances with 120 total votes against Gashey’s 100. Gashey had won most of EVM votes with 204 against Wang Tshering’s 184.

Wang Tshering said that, as per the voting trends, locals residing in the gewogs were supporting incumbent and former gups, as the residents were familiar with them. He said he was a new face in the locality, and locals were not confident about him. However, he said that voters outside the gewog, mainly the educated voters, voted for him through PBFB.

Having served in the civil service for 19 years, he said that he had the experience and vital pledges as per the community’s desires and needs.

Considering the slow growth of Gakiling, he found that the gewog was in desperate need of pliable roads throughout the year. “There is a requirement for basic facilities such as water and mobile networks.”

Former Sangbay Gup Thinley was voted out by new contestant Tobgay after securing 517 votes against Thinley’s 447 votes.

Thinley served as a gup for three terms, and Tobgay served one time.

According to voter Kezang from Sombaykha, voters supported both the gup candidates, as both had past experience. She said that with a slight difference in votes, it seemed that locals preferred the former gup for a change.

Out of 42 LG posts in Haa, only four are women. Uesu elected three women tshogpas and one tshogpa from Katsho.