The gup secured 53 ‘yes’ votes and 54 ‘no’ votes

Nima | Gelephu

More than 70 aspiring candidates were nominated for gups and mangmi posts during dhamngoi zomdu held in the past two weeks in Sarpang.

There are 36 aspiring gup candidates vying for the post of gup in 12 gewogs in the dzongkhags. Only two women candidates, one each from Sershong and Gelephu gewog are contesting for gup this time.

The dzongkhag also has 34 male and four female candidates for the post of mangmi. Women candidates are from Umling, Jigmecholing, Dekiling, and Samtenling gewogs.

Despite being one of the smallest gewogs in Sarpang, Chuzergang gewog has the highest number of aspiring candidates vying for the post of gup and mangmi.

Almost all incumbents gup who took part in dhamngoi zomdu secured their nomination to contest again except for the incumbent gup candidate from Dangling chiwog in Umling gewog.

Former gup Ugyen Norbu was a lone candidate from Dangling chiwog after an aspiring candidate from the chiwog was disqualified from dhamngoi zomdu on the ground of political affiliations.

On November 9, he secured 53 ‘yes’ and 54 ‘no’ votes. Dangling chiwog would be without a candidate for the post of gup after 15 years. 

Ugyen Norbu worked in the gewog for almost two decades, four years as mangmi and 15 years as gup in Umling. He was among 11 incumbent gups who recontested for the election.

He said that it was disappointing, but was more worried about the precedent and political mudslinging that were set in the grassroots level election.

“I was not disappointed with the result but with the precedent, malicious practices that go unnoticed during the election in chiwogs. It’s worrying to see such situation in the community,” he said.

He claimed that there were people who liked and disliked him by nature of being in the position for a long time. “However, we should think of having certain measures in place. Such precedent would incite disharmony in the community. There was no one monitoring this.”

The candidate say voters were swayed and disturbed while going for voting. “It’s okay. I couldn’t make it this time but the government should know about this situation. We should strive to promote integrity and honesty,” Ugyen Norbu said.

An aspiring tshogpa candidate from Dangling chiwog said that people were confident that the candidate would be nominated from the chiwog.

“There are people persuading voters to unseat the incumbent LG members intentionally like there is no regulation in place. I doubt incoming gups would be better than the former,” he said.

An aspiring candidate from Shompangkha gewog said that it would be difficult for people from humble backgrounds to contest in the election. “The voters were often persuaded. People from other chiwogs would disturb another. The election is not so fair,” he said.

The dhamngoi nomination held in Sarpang saw three former mangmis who contested for the post of gup from Sengye, Taraythang, and Gelephu getting nominated from the respective chiwogs.

However, four former mangmis who contested for election could not sail through. The former Chudzom and Dekiling gewog mangmi who contested for the post of gup, and former Chuzanggang mangmi failed to secure nomination during dhamngoi zomdu.

Former Sershong mangmi was not allowed to contest due to his ongoing court case, according to the dzongkhag election sector.

Eight women took part in the dhamngoi zomdu nomination from Sarpang in this election.

Edited by Tashi Dema