Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Samtse elected nine new gups yesterday. Other six gup positions have been taken by the former gups, who re-contested this time.

The dzongkhag has 15 gewogs out of which 14 had former gups re-contest during the dhamngoi zomdu in November, but only 12 had sailed through.

New gups

Among the new gups, Norbugang gewog voted for Yadu Raj Ghalley with 1,231 votes, out of which 895 were Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) votes, 89 postal ballots (PB), 220 Postal Ballot Facilitation Booth (PBFB) votes, and 27 Mobile Voting Booth (MVB) votes.

Norbugang had four gup contestants. Former gup, who contested managed a total of 610 votes.

In Yoeseltse, it was a tough competition between former gup Ganga Prasad Limboo and new candidate Tashi Jamtsho. However, the latter was elected with a total of 957 votes against the former’s 816.

Sangachholing also went for a new gup, Phata Singh Ghalley of Sombek village. He managed 906 total votes compared to 711 and 465 for the other two candidates.

Although the former gup in Tashichholing didn’t contest this time, the gewog had five gup contestants. But people voted for Kuenzang Peljure. He had contested in the gup position in 2016.

“I tried in 2016 as well but I was not fortunate enough although people had supported,” he said.

“But I didn’t give up my hope and I worked.”

With people giving him the opportunity this time, Kuenzang Peljure said he is dedicated to serving, adding that the gup’s duty is not an easy one.

“There is nothing to be happy about. There is so much to work,” he said, adding that he has to work for the government and the people and act as a bridge between them.

Kuenzang managed 512 total votes.

From Norgaygang gewog, Shyam Gurung is the new gup. He secured 813 votes. The gewog had five gup contestants.

All three gewogs in Dorokha drungkhag elected new gups this time. Denchukha’s former gup, however, was out in the dhamngoi zomdu.

Dophuchen gewog went into the hands of a new gup, Phuntsho who secured 1,184 votes. He managed 702 from EVM, 330 from PBFB, 98 PBs, and 54 MVBs. Two other new contestants and former gup gave a close completion.

In Dumtey, Durga Das Rai won with 618 total votes, against Ram Kumar Rai’s 525, former gup Damber Singh Rai’s 459 and Kamal Singh Rai’s 48.

Denchukha people voted for Vaskar Chapagai. He secured 692 total votes.

Tading chose Yam Bahadur Ghalley, who secured 1,171 votes. It was a close completion with the former gup Jagat Bahadur Ghalley who managed 1,127.


Former gups who won

Former Samtse dzongkhag tshogdu chariman, Nima Dukpa managed 842 total votes to win again. Another candidate, Suraj Rai had 799 votes. There were four gup candidates. Suraj Rai had won against Nima Dukpa in EVM with 594 votes. Nima’s was 572. The PBFB votes made the difference as Nima secured 193, while Suraj Rai received 156.

Nima Dukpa said people have bestowed him the trust.

“Now, I have to work more,” he said. “I have to return to the people what they have given me.”

Phuentshopelri gewog also elected its former gup, Robat Lepcha. He secured 1,306 votes, out of which were 1,101 EVMs, 114 PBFBs, 53 MVBs, and 38 PBs. It was a comfortable win for Robat.

From Samtse gewog, former gup Wangchuk Lepcha also won comfortably with 1,392 total votes. There were three candidates.

Ugyentse’s former gup, Karna Bahadur Thakuri secured 493 votes to return as the favourite this time again. The other two contestants, Karma Wangchuk Drukpa and Prem  Ghalley secured 280 and 304 respectively.

Former gup of Namgaychholing, Ratna Bdr Ghalley secured 1,643 to win again. His competitor Sangay Chedup wrestled 278 total votes.

Former gup of Pemaling gewog, Khem Raj Ghalley has managed to win the gup’s position with 960 votes. This is the fourth time he will be serving as the gup. He first became the gewog’s gup in 2005, before the democratic elections commenced in 2011.

Most of the gups were unavailable to comment.

Samtse saw 62,154 people come to vote at the EVM centres yesterday. About 17,284 had voted through PBFBs, while 5,190 cast their votes with PBs, and 4,957 MVBs.