Chhimi Dema 

Winning in four of the seven demkhongs, Ugyen Dorji from Jungzhina-Kawajangsa demkhong secured 1,776 votes rising clear of the other two candidates to become the Thimphu thrompon yesterday.

Ugyen Dorji won in his own demkhong, and extended his lead in Changangkha, Motithang and Norzin demkhongs.

The highest turnout of voters was in Norzin Demkhong where 614 voted.

The thrompon-elect said that he was overwhelmed. “People voted for me. Now I would serve with all my ability to fulfil their wishes and expectations.”

Ugyen Dorji started his campaign two days later than other candidates. But that didn’t bother him. The starting had to be on the most auspicious occasion for him. He made up for the lost time by using Geographic Information System (GIS) to locate voters easily during the door-to-door campaign.

During his campaign, Ugyen Dorji pledged to improve thromde services, ease traffic congestion and build a liveable city with recreational spots.

He said that when he started the election campaign it was interesting. “But the competition got tougher.  I began to worry. Nevertheless, people’s faith kept me hoping for the best.”

He said that the feedback that he got from people pushed him to give his best in every possible way.

Some voters looked forward to changing the leadership, and some wanted to count on experience.

Nima, 75, from Jungshina, said that the first and foremost duty of the newly appointed Thrompon should be addressing the shortage of drinking water and maintaining the roads.

“With rising urbanisation, water is becoming a huge issue, and it will continue,” he said.

Another voter, from Motithang, said that she expects a change in both leadership and the city’s development.

Chencho, 36, from Taba, said, “I chose someone who had previous experience of working in the thromde.”

“Voting is an opportunity to introduce innovation in a city or workplace with the right to choose our leaders,” he said.

The thrompon-elect won with 40.2 percent of the 4,410 total votes cast yesterday. He came second in postal ballots with 224 in his favour. 

Of the 8,007 registered voters, 3,748 voted on the electronic voting machine (EVM) on the poll day yesterday. And 78 percent of the registered voters cast their postal ballots yesterday.

The former thrompon Kinlay Dorjee who got 1,714 votes won in his own constituency (Babesa) and in Changbangdu-Olakha constituency. He won in postal ballots securing 316 postal ballots out of the 662. The third candidate, Sonam Dorji secured 920 votes and also won from his own constituency.

However, Ugyen Dorji won in those constituencies which did not have candidates.

None of the thrompon candidates attended the counting of votes at the counting centre that was observed by Thimphu dzongdag and other officials.

Ugyen Dorji remained at home surrounded by his family, friends and well-wishers. He dressed in his best attire and talked with his friends while attending to phone calls occasionally and returning messages.

Ugyen Dorji is married with two children. Before resigning to contest in the thromde elections, he served as deputy chief urban planner with the thromde.

Ugyen Dorji has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Australia and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the College of Science and Technology in Phuentsholing.

He worked in Thimphu Thromde for 11 years and also served as an assistant lecturer in Jigme Namgyel Engineering College from 2008 to 2010.

Meanwhile, the thromde tshogpa candidates from Babesa, Changangkha, Dechencholing-Taba, Jungshina-Kawajangsa, Changbangdu-Olakha, and Norzin demkhongs  were elected.