As of yesterday in Paro, three aspiring NC candidates made through the first round of selection process.

On February 27, Paro’s first dhamngoi zomdu (nomination meeting) held in Lamgong Gewog, saw Ugyen Tshering, 49, secure 468 yes votes and 35 no votes.

The gewog has 2,197 eligible voters. Of the 503 voters at the zomdu, 293 are female.

From the first hour of the day, more than a hundred voters queued to cast their vote at the gewog centre in Lamgong. After the two police personnel on duty had a tough time handling the crowd, an additional duty official was deployed in the next gewog zomdu.

Voters present at the gewog centre before 3pm were given tokens and were allowed to vote after 3pm. Those who came after 3pm were not allowed to vote as the zomdu timing is scheduled from 9am to 3pm.

About five to six voters who turned up after 3pm had to leave the gewog centre without casting their vote, according to the candidate and the police personnel on duty.

Kuensel met with a 46-year-old, Chencho Gyem, who said that she got late for the zomdu because she had to wait for her daughter to return from school.

Tandin Bidha, 62, said she had come in the morning but since there was a long queue, she went back. “I was busy with my daily chores and didn’t notice the time.”

Shaba nominated Chencho Dorji, 37, as the gewog’s candidate for the upcoming NC election. He secured 280 yes votes and 48 no votes. The gewog has 2,064 eligible voters. Voter turn out was 16 percent.

Passang, 56, said she is not familiar with Shaba’s candidate. “He comes from a family where his grandfather and uncle served as local leaders and if their strength is anything to go by, then he should be a good leader.”

Loong-nyi chose Jangchub Dorji, 28, as the gewog’s NC candidate. He secured 274 yes votes and 27 no votes on March 1.

There were no aspiring candidates from Dopshar-ri. Of the 1,749 eligible voters in the gewog, 77 females and 39 males turned up for the zomdu at the gewog centre yesterday.

Of the remaining gewogs that are yet to conduct its zomdu, Wangchang has a candidate while Doteng and Tsento have two candidates each. Nagya, Dokar, Hoongrel, and the thromde do not have a candidate as of now.

Paro has a total of 18,426 registered eligible voters. However, the number of eligible voters could change because people can still register to vote until March 21.

The dzongkhag will complete its zomdu for the 10 gewogs and dzongkhag thromde by March 12.

Dechen Tshomo | Paro