LG: With the two tshogpa candidates securing equal votes on September 27 poll day in Yorbo chiwog in Goenshari, election officials in Punakha have deputed officials for the re-election scheduled for tomorrow.

Election officials said a nine-member polling team, comprising three police constables, a presiding officer, two lady friskers and three polling officials, were sent to the polling station yesterday.

The tshogpa candidates are Thinley and Phurba. They secured 37 votes each in the last election.

Yorbo chiwog has 87 eligible voters, of which 74 voters turned up to vote on Septermber 27.

Meanwhile, three other chiwogs in Punakha; Bjimthang and Tanag-Uesa chiwogs in Dzomi gewog and Lingmukha chiwog in Lingmukha gewog do not have tshogpas. The chiwogs, however, have to wait for a by-election to elect their tshogpas.

The candidates for the three chiwogs were disqualified before the last election after they were found to be affiliated with political parties. Election rules do not allow for politically affiliated candidates to contest in local government election.

Election officials said the three candidates were party supporters.

While the three candidates resigned as party supporters, it had not been a year since they resigned. Election rules require a cooling period of one year.

While locals raised concerns about not having tshogpas in their chiwogs, officials said the posts would be filled once the election commission issues a notification for by-election.

Officials said that in most cases, lack of the functional literary test (FLT) certificate makes it difficult to find eligible candidates to contest.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha