By-Election: Twenty-five days after its first by-election to elect the Mongar gup, three candidates have again been selected to contest the second round on April 6.

Four candidates, including a woman, came forward to contest the vacant post from Photshorong chiwog.  Sangay Dorji, 31, from Redaza village was selected to contest from the chiwog after securing 47 votes out of 144.

After completing class XII in 2010, Sangay Dorji started driving a taxi. “I have all the documents required by the election office except for a functional literacy test certificate (FLT),” he said.

Another candidate, Neten Wangchuk 45, secured 42 votes, while a former contender, Tshewang Dorji, 32, who was not elected last month, contested again but wasn’t selected. The lone woman candidate Jigme Lhaden, 32, scored 16 votes and wasn’t selected.

Former contender, Tshewang Dorji, said he would contest the post of gup until he turns 65 years. “If people give one an opportunity to serve, only then they’ll know his competency,” he said.

Dzongkhag election officer (DEO), Sangay Dorji, said as long as the candidate is a registered voter and 25 years old at least, one can contest any post. He said, the selected candidates should however submit all required documents to the election office by today.

Ketongri-Themnangbe chiwog selected Rinzin, 47, with 56 votes out of 69, while the lone candidate Gyeltshen, 31, from Wengkhar-Yagpogang chiwog secured 66 votes of 78 to contest from his chiwog.  There were no candidates from the other three chiwogs.

While people do turn up for the zomdus, by-election fatigue seems to have set in among the voters.  Sonam Lhamo, 25, from Jancholing village said that the by-election affects their farm work. “After spending so much time, it’s frustrating to see that no one is selected,” she said.

Kelzang Dorji, 53, from Neykhang said it was disappointing for people to see their lone candidate not being elected, especially when the candidate had resigned to contest. “Something is missing in the gewog when we don’t have a gup,” he said.

The gup’s post went vacant following the death of the former gup Dechen Yeshi in a car accident on January 8 this year.

The February 17 by-election, which was conducted at a cost of Nu 382,200, saw a poor voter turnout in all six polling stations.  Of the 3,335 registered eligible voters, only 639, twenty percent or so, turned up to cast their votes.

By Tashi Phuntsho