Most households in Laya, Gasa are planning to divide their votes between the candidates of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT).

DPT’s Changa Dawa and DNT’s Tenzin are both from Laya.

Many in the community feel that the votes from lower Gasa will decide who goes to the Parliament this time.

Having grown up and lived in the village, Changa Dawa is known for his humility and the popularity of his president.

People in the gewog believe that Tenzin’s repeated appearance in the election and his community participation would bring him favorable results.

Tshewang Dorji from Pazhi said it was difficult to decide his vote this time. “Both the candidates are from here. The presidents of two parties are also equally strong. However, I feel that the people would go with the party that would improve our health services and road construction.”

He added that both candidates understood the challenges and situation of the community. “I feel that they would bring better change and development in the community,” he said.

Unlike in past elections, the highland community of Laya will be heading to the poll day with a better information and knowledge about the candidates, political parties and also about the roles of their representatives this election.

The locals claimed that most of the voters in the community had cast their votes knowing only about their constituency candidates and through the common forums in the past elections. The voters knew less about the respective candidate’s party and the pledges.

Laya was connected with 3G-network since July and this helped the community be informed about the socio-political happenings beyond their community.

Political debates and talks circulated through social media platforms have enabled the voters to listen and analyse the information available.

Namgay, 28, from Lubcha, said that the 3G Internet connections helped him become more familiar about other candidates and political parties. “We have to keep moving; herding yaks and sometimes with horses to pick up loads from road points. We couldn’t attend debates before. Now we go online to watch the debates.”

Laya, which has 700 out of 1,023 registered voters in Khatoed-Laya constituency, played vital role in deciding the national council election results in April.

Lower Gasa that has two polling stations in Gasa Primary School and Khatoed gewog centre has 323 registered voters.

The voter turnout in the general round is expected to increase.

Nima | Gasa