Nima | Sarpang

Sarpang re-elected six incumbent and six new gups in the third local government election held on Wednesday.

At the counting centre in Sarpang Dzongkhag Tshogdu Hall, aspiring candidates and representatives filled the hall at around 4 PM. As results were delayed, candidates from Shompangkha Gewog were among the last to leave the counting centre.

Suk Dorji Yonzan was elected the gup of Shompangkha.

“This time, it was a tough race. There was stiff competition. I won the last election with a vast majority. I grew up here in the village and people consider me like their son,” said Suk Dorji Yonzan.

Suk Dorji Yonzan secured 763 votes against Nima Lama’s 652. Suk Dorji Yonzan is among the six re-lected gups in Sarpang.

Sershong Gup Tshering, Jigmecholing Gup Kumar Gurung, Nim Dorji Sherpa from Gakiling, Kumar Monger from Samtenling, and Bishnu Prasad Rai from Chudzom were also re-elected on Wednesday.

Nima Lama said the choice of the public must be respected. “However, the election process in local government needs streamlining. Voters are brainwashed overnight. Even during the no-campaign period, people were seen moving around and campaigning on social media.”

He said there should be a minimum qualification requirement for local government candidates.

“The young and qualified should be encouraged to participate. There will not be changes in communities without this. People will keep supporting the same people,” said Nima Lama.

Nim Dorji Sherpa won over 88 percent from 1,903 votes in Gakiling gewog. It is his third consecutive term as gup.

The former dzongkhag tshogdu said that there were more qualified candidates contesting in the local government elections this time, making the election competitive at the grassroots. “Having worked together for a long time, we expected more incumbents would win but the election has become unpredictable.”

Kumar Gurung from Jigmecholing secured his second gup term, securing 1957 votes. His opponent, Tshering Penjor, a university graduate, got only 616 votes.

Prem Prasad Katel from Gelephu, Raghu Nath Ghalley from Dekiling, Karma Tshering from Chuzergang, Jigme from Singye, Dhan Man Gurung from Taraythang, and Sangay Tenzin from Umling are the new gup-elects in Sarpang.

Karma Tshering from Barthang Chiwog won 792 votes.

In Dekiling, former gup Padam Singh Monger lost to Raghu Nath Ghalley from Chhokhorling by 69 votes.

Jigme from Singye Gewog defeated a former gup and mangmi to win the gup post. Jigme won 399 votes out of 873 votes.

Only three incumbent gups re-elected in Zhemgang

Meanwhile, in Zhemgang only three incumbent gups were re-elected: Bjoka Gup Tshering Wangchuk, Tashi from Phangkhar and Wangay from Trong gewog.

Tshering Wangchuk got 532 votes and was elected. Dorji Wangdi secured 501 votes.

Out of the four mangmi candidates from the gewog, Sonam Tashi from Bjoka chiwog secured 305 votes to win. Pema Wangdi, Tshering Dorji Chew, Chophel secured 235, 202, and 291 votes respectively.

Namgyel from Mewanggang is the gup-elect from Goshing Gewog. He won 683 votes. Sangay from Budhashi won the mangmi post with 437 votes.

Rinchen Tshering is the gup-elect of Ngangla Gewog. Tashi from Pongchola Taduejong is the new Phangkhar gup. Rinchen Khando from bardo gewog secured 1171 votes to win the gup post on Wednesday.

Singye Wangchuk from Buli chiwog is the new Nangkor Gup. Tshering Lhendup won the gup post with 944 votes from Shingkhar gewog in Zhemgang.

Almost all incumbent mangmi candidates were voted out this election in Zhemgang.