LG: Seven days into the petition period and Trashigang, the largest dzongkhag in the country hasn’t received a single petition from any of its 15 gewogs.

Over 242 contested in the second local government elections.

“So far there has been no petition and we are praying that people do not file one,” a returning officer in Trashigang said.

Trashigang electoral officer Tshering Phuntsho said that none of the returning officers have received any petition in writing although a few verbal clarifications were sought.

The electoral officer also said that the dzongkhag dispute settlement body has been dissolved along with the central dispute settlement body. Any petition will be forwarded to the Election Commission, which is now responsible for resolving any disputes.

However, no petitions related to electoral offences conducted before  poll day will be entertained. Only those related to offences on poll day will be accepted.

Bartsham gup-elect Kelzang Dawa said that so far no petition has been filed.

Shongphu mangmi-elect Dhendup Dema said: “It is unlikely petitions will be filed since the candidates conducted themselves within the electoral norms.”

Merak gup-elect Lam Rinchen said that so far no one has raised any issues against any of the elects. “As far as I am concerned there is no reason to raise issues,” he said. “If candidates have done something wrong, issues would arise but since I have done nothing wrong I do not see any reasons for anyone to file a petition,” Lam Rinchen said.

Tshering Phuntsho said that the second local government election has been a peaceful process with reports of only a few petitions and disputes.

Except for two cases from Thrimshing and Kangpar, no complaints were lodged from the rest of the 13 gewogs.

The low number of electoral issues, according to Tshering Phuntsho is because of more sensitisation and voter education. “There are fewer cases because now people are more aware of electoral rules and regulations,” he said.

Tempa Wangdi | Trashigang