LG: Changyul-Tashi chiwog in Guma gewog, Punakha nominated 45-year-old Kinley Om for the post of gup, last week.

She is the lone female gup candidate to contest  from Punakha for the local government election next month. Around 74 gup and mangmi candidates have been nominated from chiwog zomdus in 11 gewogs.

Two women from Shelgana and Talo gewogs have also been nominated for mangmi candidature.

Kinley Om of Lungsigang village was nominated with 169 votes against her opponent Rinzin Wangdi who secured 80 votes during the chiwog zomdu. Earlier, Rinzin Wangdi also served as gup.

Kinley Om who is a class-VI dropout said she never dreamt of participating in the local government election. “I was inspired to contest for gup following a training conducted by the Bhutan network for empowering women in 2015,” she said.

She attended the women empowerment training thrice. It encouraged and taught her about the importance of women’s participation in local government election. “We were also taught about what kind of person we need to be if we aspire to become a leader,” said Kinley Om.

Kinley Om is nervous of facing four male candidates from her gewog. However, she said she is not worried about wining or losing. “I will have no regrets even if I lose, but I would have regretted had I not contested,” she said.

If elected, Kinley said she is hopeful that she will be able to shoulder the responsibility with full dedication. Unlike in the past, where every work requires physical strength and men were considered superior to women, today everything is about working hard and dedication, she said.

Kinley said if she wins this election, she could inspire many young women dropouts like her.

Kinley Om will contest against other candidates from chiwogs like Dochukha-Risa, Guma-Woolakha, Phulingsum and Lakhu-Tshogwom.

The gewog saw eight aspirants for the post of gup, of which three could not pass the chiwog zomdu ladder. Phulingsum chiwog also saw a female candidate, who lost to Wangchuk with six votes.

Former gup, Namgay Tsheirng of Dochukha-Risa chiwog was re-nominated with 79 votes of 114 cast. Namgay Tsheirng who is a class XII pass out has served as gewog clerk for more than five years before.

Six other former gups of Shegnang, Toewang, Chhubu, Limbukha, Goenshari and Baap were re-nominated to contest for the upcoming election.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha