LG: The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) will conduct one more round of Functional Literacy and Possession of Skills Test (FLT) at a test centre in each dzongkhag.

The test will be held on July 19 in the respective dzongkhags where the applicants have registered for the FLT.

The ECB held a nation-wide FLT round earlier in April to prepare for the upcoming Local Government (LG) elections. However, the ECB decided to hold another round of FLT after having received many applications from dzongkhags.

This has been possible after the ECB postponed the LG election by about a month to allow the incumbents to complete their full tenure of five years.

“The ECB would like to facilitate the interested candidates by conducting one more round of FLT to be conducted in one test centre in each dzongkhag,” states a notification from the ECB.

The ECB has notified the perspective candidates to register with their respective dzongkhag election office by today.

In the earlier round of the nation-wide FLT, a total of 3,110 probable candidates passed the test. The ECB had held the test in 205 gewogs and 17 dzongkhag thromdes.

Of those successful candidates, 928 were female and 2,182 were male.

The FLT questions are related to the responsibilities, power, authority and duties of midheygothrips (community leaders). The question papers cover computational, analytical, managerial and correspondence skills.

Weightage for the written test and the viva were 60 and 40 percent respectively.

Lack of candidates with FLT certificates has been one of the main problems facing local government elections. However, with the ECB conducting FLT the number of eligible candidates will keep on increasing.

Voters within 25 to 65 years of age are being encouraged to partake in the elections as candidates, for which it is a must to pass the FLT.

Meanwhile, the ECB has released a revised atlas of the LG constituencies with the number of voters. The revised atlas became necessary after Parliament last year declared 16 dzongkhag thromdes and 20 yenlag thromdes.

According to the new atlas, there are now 394,695 eligible voters in the country. Of the total, 94 percent or 371,111 comprise rural voters from 205 gewogs.

There are 18,699 voters in 20 dzongkhag thromdes and 4,885 voters in as many dzongkhag yenlag thromdes. However, Denchi dzongkhag thromde in Pemagatshel, the dzongkhag yenlag thromdes of Dhosoom in Trashiyangtse and Damji in Gasa do not have any registered voters.

MB Subba