Nine candidates are vying for a seat in the upper house

The stage is set for Friday’s National Council (NC) poll day in Samtse, the second largest dzongkhag after Trashigang in terms of voter population.

According to dzongkhag electoral officer, Tshering Phuntsho, preparations have been completed for the poll day. A total of 410 officials have been deployed to 68 polling booths across the dzongkhag. 

“Shops will remain closed during poll day. However, hotels can remain open,” he said.

The dzongkhag has a total of 46,781 eligible voters, of whom 24,455 are male and 22,326 female. 

Candidates wrapped up their door-to-door campaign yesterday evening amid hectic schedules although the campaign period officially ends at 9am today.

The candidates have campaigned in all gewogs through common forums that completed on April 4. 

However, some candidates said that the time allocated for door-to-door campaign was inadequate due to the large size of the dzongkhag. 

Door-to-door campaign was important since every voter do not make it to common forums or watch public debates on BBS, one of the candidates said.

“Bigger dzongkhags should be given more time for door-to-door campaign to facilitate the candidates to reach out to the electorate,” a candidate said. “It’s impossible to reach most of the villages during the given time,” he said. 

Another candidate said, “We can only reach those places that are accessible by road during door-to-door campaign period and we also talk to people on our way.” 

There are 15 gewogs in the dzongkhag. Eight gewogs and the Samtse throm have a candidate each.

A resident, Hari Ghallay, 56, from Samtse gewog, said that his three children live in Thimphu and Wangdue. “They are expected to come for the poll day,” he said.

MB Subba | Samtse