Bye-election: The Booso Zeri chiwog in Sephu, Wangdue is having difficulty in finding new candidates after its tshogpa resigned on health grounds on August 10.

Sephu gup Rinchen Penjore said the former tshogpa, Lam Dorji, 30, was not in good health since last year. Since he could not perform his duties well, he decided to resign from the post.

“We have been trying to get tshogpa candidates following his resignation but no one is interested to contest,” the gup said.

Yesterday, the gewog held a meeting with more than 90 people at the chiwog. The meeting saw three interested candidates, but all three were found to be under age and were ineligible to contest. The age requirement for tshogpa, as per the Election Act is 25 years and above.

“It is difficult to find a tshogpa candidate in Sephu,” he said. As per the election rules, interested candidates have to come forward and get their candidacy registered with the gewog, but since there are no interested candidates, the gewog had to hold a meeting to find candidates.

He said in the last election, the gewog had to encourage the former tshogpa to re-contest after there were no candidates.

One of the reasons for the lack of interest could be because becoming a tshogpa means more responsibilities for a less salary. The other reason could be the people don’t get much time to collect cordycep, which is the main source of income for Sephu people.

“We are worried that the chiwog might not get a tshogpa this time,” the gup said.

Meanwhile, the election officials in Wangdue said if the gewog finds interested candidates they would conduct the bye-election. Before the election, they said they have to see if interested candidates have functional literacy test certificates.

“We were informed on August 10 that tshogpa Lam Dorji has officially resigned on health grounds,” officials said. The gewog has also informed dzongkhag administration and the Election Commission of Bhutan in Thimphu.

Dawa Gelmo, Wangdue