Chencho Dema | Punakha

The Returning Officers in Punakha and Gasa did not receive some postal ballots they issued for the fourth National Council elections within the deadline which was 5pm yesterday.

Gasa Returning Officer received 263 out of the 273 postal ballots the office issued for eligible voters within the country. Of the 12 postal ballots sent abroad, the office received 10.

The Returning Officer in Punakha has issued 3,615 registered postal ballots for the in-country and 40 postal ballots for overseas voters.

Of that, RO office received 3,400 ballots from voters within the country and five ballots from abroad.

The two dzongkhags saw an increase in the number of eligible voters – Gasa 13.9 percent and Punakha 12.9 percent in the NC elections 2023.

Gasa has 2,279 eligible registered voters of which 1,083 are male and 1,196 are female for the 2023 NC elections. The dzongkhag has 215 more voters compared to 2,064 in 2018.

Dorji Khandu,37, incumbent National Council member from Laya Gewog, and Tshering, 49, a former RAPA employee from Khatoe Gewog, are the candidates.

Gasa has four gewogs: Laya, Khatoe, Khamed, and Lunana. Khamed and Lunana gewogs did not nominate a candidate.

In Punakha, Lhaki Dolma from Dzomi Gewog is contesting against former PDP Kabji-Talo candidate Dophu Drukpa from Toebisa, Chencho Wangdi from Chhubu Gewog, Namgay Dorji, from Talog Gewog, and Dorji Tenzin from Shelnga-Bjimi Gewog.

Barp, Goenshari, Guma, Kabisa, Lingmukha, Toewang Gewogs, and the Khuruthang Throm did not have NC nominees.

Punakha has 18,788 registered voters of which 9,852 are female voters and 8,936 male.

In 2018, there were 16,949 registered voters while in 2023, the voters increased by 1,839.