However, zomdu results were not accepted by a third aspiring thrompon candidate who is now demanding clarification on some issues 

LG: Amid much confusion, the zomdu results were not accepted by aspiring thrompon candidate, Sangay Tenzin from Kipse constituency under Samdrupjongkhar thromde, who did not receive enough “Yes” votes during a Zomdu held on August 19 in Dewathang.

Sangay Tenzin secured 39 No and 35 Yes votes. A total of 74 cast their votes.

But the result left a few voters and the candidate dejected when around five voters had the wrong constituency reflected in their voter photo identity cards (VPIC). Some of the voters also had their names missing from the draft electorate roll (E-roll).

As a result, they missed the chance to vote. They may have voted in favour of the candidate as they were related and in favour of him.

They questioned how their names were absent on the E-roll because if they were able to vote, the candidate would have secured the required Yes votes.

One of the voters asked how his name was registered under Kipsu constituency while his father, who is the head of the family is not. He said that both of them voted from the same constituency in 2011.

“It is the same VPIC we used in 2011 but why didn’t the officials tell us then that he came to the wrong polling station because his name was reflected in the E-roll,” the voter said. “If they had informed we would have changed because we can’t read and we just go to polling station we’re asked to go to, so we thought this year would be the same.”

Another voter, Sangay Tenzin’s niece, said it was disappointing because another constituency was reflected on her VPIC but her name was not reflected in either of the constituency’s E-rolls.

“I left my child with my neighbour because I wanted to exercise my adult franchise but I don’t have my name on the E-roll. Where do I vote and how can I be the only one from my family whose name is not in the E-roll?”

Another voter claimed he had transferred his census to the throm three years back but it was not reflected in the E-roll.

Demanding a clarification from the dzongkhag election office, Sangay Tenzin refused to sign the chiwog zomdu EVM result form. Sangay Tenzin said if he had lost by a huge number of votes it would not matter but because it was only by a few votes, it is a matter of concern.

“Even my name was not reflected in my own constituency sometime back. We don’t know how this happened and who is to be blamed but I will not sign the form until they have solved this confusion,” he said.

He accepted that he lost the nomination. However he said he requires a clarification because something may have gone wrong when data was being updated and should be solved.

However, the team who conducted the zomdu said the election office would be in a better position to clarify on the issue because everything was done based on the E-roll.  The E-roll booklet is only opened on the day of the zomdu.

Election officials said they had repeatedly notified through the media that people update their VPICs but nobody had done so.

Meanwhile, Samdrupjongkhar will now have only two candidates vying for the post of thrompon and five tshogpas in five constituencies. However the tshogpa post has remained vacant in Samdrupjongkhar Toed after no candidate showed up and the former tshogpa decided not to re-contest.

Securing 42 Yes and 13 No votes, former Samdrupjongkhar thrompon Karma Sherab Thobgyal was voted in from Samdrupgatshel constituency.

Although the voter turnout was poor in Samdrupjongkhar Bar constituency, another aspiring candidate Dechen Wangmo narrowly managed to secure eight Yes votes against six No votes.

The thromde zomdu in six constituencies ended on August 20.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupjongkhar