Samdrupjongkhar has nominated six candidates to contest for the National Council.

The lone candidate from the thromde, Sangay Tenzin, sailed through the nomination by securing 123 yes against 18 no votes at the dzongkhag’s last dhamngoi zomdu.

Sangay Tenzin, 45, from Bangtsho in Dewathang last served as a civil servant before declaring his interest to contest in the upcoming elections.

The voter turnout of 16.7 percent is perhaps one of the lowest among the zomdus conducted in the dzongkhag. Among the four areas under Samdrupjongkhar thromde, the lowest number of voters was from the core town area with only nine of the 170 registered voters turning up to vote.

Samdrupjongkhar thromde that stretches from the core town to Dewathang area has 844 registered voters.

Around a third of the voters, who turned out were elderly people. One of them was Abi Tsumpi, 75, from Samdrup Gatshel village in Dewathang area.

She said her vote was important to elect a candidate from her area. “Development in the village will happen only if there’s someone representing us,” she said.

Dhamngoi zomdu in the dzongkhag started on February 26 from Lauri gewog, and three gewogs of Lauri, Serthi and Martshala had two days of meeting given the distance and scattered nature of settlement, while the rest of the gewogs had one-day zomdu at their gewog meeting halls.

For Lauri and Momring chiwogs in Lauri gewog, the nomination was held at Lauri gewog center on February 28, and at Zangthi Community School for the three chiwogs of Dungmanma, Zangthi and Tshothang on March 1.

The gewog saw three candidates including the incumbent member Jigme Wangchuk who made it for the final round securing 404 votes, against Thinley Dorji’s 219 and Wangdi’s 184 votes. Jigme Wanchuk and Thinley Dorji, 35, contested from the Momring chiwog, while Wangdi, 31, stood from Zangthi chiwog.

Serthi gewog has six chiwogs and the zomdu for Drenphu, Khanduphu-Minjiwoong and Phagchhog Suskar chiwogs was held at the gewog meeting hall on February 28, while for Dangtshog-Serthig, Monmala-Tashithang, and Gyed chiwogs, it was done at Monmala CPS on March 1.

Of the two candidates, Tshewang Tenzin, 30, secured 247 votes to be nominated. His contestant Karma Dorji, 33, got 169 votes. Both candidates are from Debtshang village under Drenphu chiwog.

For Martshala, the zomdu took place at Martshala gewog center for Martshala chiwog, and at Keptang ORC for two chiwogs of Chhoedoong-Kakani and Sarjoong Kaepthang-Tsholingkhar.

Martshala gewog elected their lone candidate Ugyen Dorji, 41, from Martshala chiwog, who secured 286 yes and 118 no votes.

Wangphu and Orong gewogs also elected their lone candidates. Wangphu elected Kelzang Phuntsho, 36, with 285 yes and 48 no votes, while Orong elected Tshelthrim Dukar, 39, with 270 yes and 59 no votes.

Of the 11 gewogs and thromde, six gewogs of Langchenphug, Phuentshogthang, Pemathang, Samrang, Dewathang and Gomdar do not have nominees.

Orong gewog has the highest number of registered voters with 3,428 followed by Gomdar with 3,412. Samrang gewog has the lowest with 289 voters. The total voter turnout for Samdrupjongkhar was 3,268. The dzongkhag has 25,400 registered voters.

Tshering Namgyal | Samdrupjongkhar