LG: Winning the elections was the last thing that the gups-elect of Haa expected because every contestant was equally deserving. Having won the elections, people’s participation in the planning process is the common agenda.

The gup-elect of Samar gewog, Tshewang Tobgay, said it was evident from the results that it was a tight race with a difference of a few votes. “Right from the time of campaign, I knew that all the five candidates are deserving,” he said.

He added that people had a tough choice and supported everyone. He believes that his 10 years of service to the local government as a geydrung and then as a mangmi paid off.

People’s participation in the development and planning works is top on his agenda. He said he will ensure maximum participation from the people in the decision-making process.

“Even if the geydrung and mangmi goes on leave, I’ll not let the people feel their absence because I have the experience of both,” he added.

Likewise, the Katsho gup-elect, Kencho was also was not sure of winning. He was contesting against candidates who knew practically everyone in the gewog whereas he spent most of his life outside the dzongkhag pursuing studies and living with his parents.

Top on his agenda is to review the work progress of the 11th plan, sit with the people and prioritise the remaining works and discuss with the dzongkhag administration. “For the next five years, everything will be decided based on the people’s need and choices,” he said.

Even for the Eusu gup-elect, Nima Tshering, the results came as a shock. “The election result is nothing but the result of my service as a geydrung,” he said. “I made no mistake and people did not forget.” He won against the former gup by a margin of 260 votes.

He added that the planning process in the gewog thus far lacked proper research.

With the help of civil servants, he aspires to document a plan that is not only sustainable but also in line with GNH principles.

Passang, the former mangmi of Bji gewog declared his candidature of the gup because of sheer pressure from the people that someone has to represent their chiwog. “I thought that at least I have the support from my chiwog but winning the election came as a surprise,” he said.

As gratitude, he said he will repay the people through their involvement in decision making and planning. “If people in the gewog work and think as one family, it’s like spreading the values of a GNH-based society and that is my mission for the next five years,” he said.

The gup-elect of Sangbaykha, Thinley, said he did not believe the results that was declared on BBS TV. He served as the gup for nine years before the first LG elections, he said people still trusted him.

High on his agenda is a farm road. He said that almost every chiwog is a day’s walking distance from another. In the next five years, he said he will strive to connect every chiwog with a farm road.

As for the Gakiling gup-elect, Gashey, the people’s priority will be his priority as long as they are legitimate and within his authority.

Tshering Dorji | Haa