Representing Gasaps

Gasa dzongkhag has a lot of things to boast about. It is home to the snow leopard, the red panda, some of the highest peaks, glacial lakes, has a popular hot spring and is entirely in a national park.

By January next year, there will be another one added. Should all things stay the way it stands today, the people of Phulakha constituency in the dzongkhag will be the most represented in a local government. There are only 23 registered voters in the dzongkhag thromde. All of them are from Phulakha, which is near the dzong and includes the present small town.

There is not a single registered voter in the other five constituencies to be able to contest the thromde election next year. There will be a thrompon and a thuemi (representative) as they can be elected from the 23 registered voters in Phulakha. But there will be no thromde tshogde if there are no representatives from the other five.

Should all seven members of the tshogde, including the thrompon, be elected from Phulakha, there will be a representative each for every two registered voters. That will be a new record. The joke going around is that it is even easy to bribe all the registered voters to become the thrompon. This is not to deride the importance of the thromde, but to pick on the number of registered voters.

The thromde is finalised and election will go on. A thrompon and a representative will be elected. We can expect easier decision-making without the concern of the thromde tshogde getting into a deadlock over issues. But this is not healthy and should change.

For Gasaps, there is no time left to transfer census or mitsi to the other constituencies to contest the upcoming election as election law requires at least one year of residency to contest. We cannot have a thromde just for the sake of having it or because the law prescribes it. There is a purpose of having a thromde and it should be fulfilled once it is established.

Elected representatives from the dzongkhag and the government should ensure that there are people in the other constituencies. The constituencies were inhabited in the past. People have migrated. What could have been the reasons? If there are opportunities in their village or chiwog, people will return.

Gasa has developed a lot. It is now connected with a road. There is potential in the dzongkhag, tourism being one. If the place develops, people will return. The thrompon and his thuemi will have more work than their colleagues in other thromdes.

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