An analysis of the nine-member race for a seat in the National Council (NC) from Samtse shows that MP-elect Tirtha Man Rai was a favourite both with rural and urban voters.

The 31-year-old former teacher from Doomtoe gewog received 5,277 EVM votes and 966 postal ballots, the highest in terms of both the category of votes. He won 25 percent of valid votes cast for all the candidates.

The member-elect received 677 out of a total off 880 EVM votes cast in his home gewog. This means he received 77 percent of the gewog’s votes.

Tirtha Man Rai also won the highest of 866 EVM votes from Dorakha gewog, while the gewog’s nominee Chhatrapati Phuyel came second with 319 EVM votes. It was the third time Chhatrapati Phuyel was contesting for an NC seat.

In Denchukha gewog as well, Tirtha Man Rai won the highest of 592 votes. The gewog did not have its nominee.

He had chosen to be a farmer after resigning as a teacher.

There are 15 gewogs in the dzongkhag.

Tirtha Man Rai’s closest rival DK Ghalley from Pemaling gewog, also a former teacher, secured 4,829 votes. He won 950 out of 1,672 votes cast in his gewog, which is the highest among all the candidates.

Except in Dorakha gewog, where Tirtha Man Rai won against the gewog’s nominee Chattrapati Phuyel, a majority of voters voted for their own gewog nominees.

Tirtha Man Rai did not respond to Kuensel’s repeated attempts to get his comments.

A supporter of Tirtha Man Rai from Sibsoo said he was a favourite to win from the initial stage of the election. “He had expressed his intention to contest early,” she said.

Tirtha Man Rai wants to strive to uphold the dignity of each and every individual with utmost respect for the empowerment of everyone and serve the Tsawa-Sum with utmost loyalty and dedication, and highest moral principles.

According to his manifesto, the MP-elect aspires to engage in the policy discourse to further strengthen national unity, sovereignty, democracy, culture and ethos, economy, environment and human dignity as these are key to nation building.

A total of 24,947 out of 46,781 eligible voters from Samtse voted in the election. This contributed to a voter turnout of 53.3 percent, which is one of the highest voter turnouts among all 20 dzongkhags.

The nation-wide voter turnout was 54.3 percent.

The votes counted included 20,503 EVM votes and 4,444 postal ballots. In all, the dzongkhag received 4,659 postal ballots, out of which 177 were rejected and 38 were invalid.

Incumbent Sangay Khandu did not contest.

Staff reporter | Samtse