Beth Nidi Sharma was an envious bystander yesterday in Mongar. The hotelier from Norgaygang, Samtse watched his friends cast their vote at the facilitation booth in the dzongkhag.

As a businessperson, Beth Nath didn’t get the opportunity to use the facility. He will have to travel to Samtse if he wants to exercise his franchise. “Although I am not a civil servant, I have served the country as a businessman,” he said.

Beth Nidi Sharma feels the facility should be extended to the private sector. “We have the right to choose our party and candidates, but the facility, which is very convenient is not extended to the private sector,” he said. “Even if we have the right to vote, we cannot afford to close our business for a week. It is difficult to travel from Mongar to Samtse because of the travel cost and road conditions.”

People in Mongar cast their vote

People in Mongar cast their vote

A helper in a tailor shop said she depends on her small job to support her family. “It is difficult for people with low income to go home and vote,” said the woman from Silambi, Mongar. Like her, a mechanic said he always wanted to take part in the elections, but the distance discouraged him. “Without much income, we have to think twice,” said the mechanic registered in Drujaygang, Dagana. “We have families and relatives back in the village and without enough money, it is difficult,” he said.

Meanwhile, 913 voters out of the 3,469 registered voters cast their vote on the first day in Mongar. There are three facilitation booths in Mongar town. The Gyalpoishing facilitation booth has a total of 1239 registered voters with 612 male and 637 female.  A total of 305 voters came to vote yesterday with 148 male and 157 female.

Drametse and Yadi facilitation booth has total of 492 registered voters. Only 31 people came out to vote yesterday.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar

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