The dzongkhag is also likely to see four female gup candidates

LG: With the start of the chiwog zomdus for nomination of gup and mangmi candidates, six of the 11 former gups have decided to re-contest for the upcoming local government election.

Four of the former gups of Kabjisa, Talo, Toepisa and Dzomi gewogs, however, have decided not to re-contest, while former Guma gup, Namgay Tshering, said he is yet to decide.

According to sources, the dzongkhag is likely to see four female gup candidates.

The former gups aspiring to re-contest attributed their decisions to people’s support and encouragement, and their experience. Some of them are also re-contesting to complete unfinished work.

Of the four former gups who decided not to re-contest, former Dzomi gup, Phuntsho Namgay said he is ineligible to re-contest because of the age-limit. The 66-year-old former soldier said he served as gup since 2002 after resigning from the army in 2001. He served in the army for around 34 years.

While Kabjisa’s former gup, Tshering Tobgay is eligible to re-contest, he has decided to resign as he has served as gup for the last 15 years and eight years as mangmi before that.

Tshering Tobgay said that since he has served the local government for many years he has decided to pass the opportunity to younger generations. While the former Toepisa gup is not re-contesting due to health issues, the former Talo gup, Kinley said he has decided to serve for only one term.

According to sources, Punakha is likely to see at least three aspiring gup candidates from each of the 11 gewogs, and it is likely that there will be more female candidates for the posts of both mangmi and tshogpa, unlike the first local government election.

The dzongkhag electoral officer, Tenzin, said the number of gup and mangmi candidates including former local leaders aspiring to re-contest will be known only after completion of the chiwog zomdus on August 31.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha