Chencho Dema 

Punakha – The common forums of Khamaed-Lunana and Khatoed-Laya Constituency of Gasa held in Punakha saw a poor turnout as voters said that they were unaware of the meeting schedule, had to walk long distance to meeting venue, and were engaged with prior work commitments. 

Of the 599 registered voters (including postal ballots) in Lunana under Gasa, only nine residents, five female and four male, attended the common forum for the Khamaed-Lunana constituency.

The common forum was held in Guma chiwog hall, Punakha. The highlanders of Laya and Lunana migrate to warmer regions of Punakha and Wangdue to avoid extremely cold winter during December, January, and February months. 

Despite the poor turnout, the candidates talked about their pledges to the highlanders. 

For Khamaed-Lunana constituency, PDP is fielding 40-year-old Pema Drukpa, who was a Member of Parliament from the same party during its 2013-2018 tenure in government. 

For BTP, 31-year-old Dhendup is representing the constituency, who had contested on behalf of DPT in 2018, and failed to secure the assembly seat.

Lunana had five polling stations during the primary round.

In the afternoon, the common forum for the Khatoed-Laya Constituency organized for the voters of Laya saw 20 locals, 9 men and 11 women, attending the meeting in Guma chiwog hall. The constituency has a total of 763 registered voters besides postal voters. Laya has only two persons with disabilities (PWDs). 

The 29-year-old restaurateur, Lhaba Lhaba is contesting on behalf of PDP against BTP’s Ugyen Dem,30, a teacher and a researcher for Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

In the primary round, Laya had two polling stations. 

The poll day for the general elections set for January 9 will be the peak winter season for the highlanders of Gasa, therefore, polling stations will be provided at the appropriate location at Goenshari Primary School in Punakha for voters from Lunana and Gasa Primary School for voters from Laya.