Chhimi Dema 

The common forum at Gongzim Ugyen Dorji Central School for people of Wangtsa and Haa Throm on April 5 witnessed a dismal attendance with only 32 voters.

Haa completed National Council common forums for five gewogs as of April 5.

Of the 8,448 eligible voters in the dzongkhag, only 658 voters from Biji, Uesu, Gakiling, Sangbay, and Kartshog gewogs including the throm came to attend the common forum.

The common forum for Samar was held yesterday and two chiwogs of Biji gewog will hold it today.

A voter at the common forum said that the turnout was poor because some people could not read the written notification that was sent to the social media village group on April 4.

“We were informed last week but some would have forgotten about it. Most of us are illiterate, so we could not make out what was sent in the group,” she said.

She said that her school-going children read the notification for her.

Some voters said that the attendance is poor because of the death of a neighbour in their village.

“It seems that people have already made their mind who to vote for and they don’t feel the need to attend common forums,” a voter said.

Haa voters say that they expect the elected candidate to serve the nation with dedication and ensure the well-being of the people.

A voter from Haa throm said that the common forum allows her to know who would be the best candidate that would help them.  “Although we lose time on our field work, attending meetings is a citizen’s responsibility.”

Two candidates, Ugyen Namgay and Dago Tsheringla, are contesting in the upcoming NC election.

Dago Tsheringla, 45, from Samar served as the principal of Jampel HSS and Drujeygang HSS and served for 18 years in the education sector. He has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Management from India

Ugyen Namgay, 39, from Sangbaykha resigned as a senior analyst from the Office of His Majesty’s Secretariat in 2018 to contest in the NC elections.

He has a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a specialisation in development policy from the Australian National University.

The common forum for two Bji chiwog and Samar gewog could not be done as scheduled because the officials and candidates had to take another day to return from Samtse after the common forum at Sangbay. The team could not return from Tergola Pass due to heavy snowfall.

Of the total voters, 1,516 voters sought postal ballots. 14 voters registered for postal ballots from overseas.

Haa NC common forums will end today.