… the only female aspirant withdraws because of a problem on accreditation

Neten Dorj | Trashigang

Trashigang has nominated five candidates to contest for the NC seat from the dzongkhag on the poll day on April 20.

Eight aspiring candidates expressed interest to contest in the elections from six gewogs out of 15 gewogs and a throm. However, an aspiring female candidate from Udzorong withdrew, one disqualified and one lost in the gewog nomination zomdu.

Sonam Tobgyel, 44, from Phongmey gewog secured 500 Yes votes against 204 No votes during the zomdu held on February 28.

He worked as a News Editor, bureau head, and later as a senior news anchor and producer in Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS). He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Dzongkha from Sherubtse College.

The other aspiring candidate from the gewog, Tenzin Wangchuk was disqualified at the time of verifying documents for not producing the required security clearance.

Radhi gewog had two aspirants. Gongsar Karma Choppel, 52, was nominated with 466 votes against 208 of his opponent Sangay Tenzin, 42, during the dhamngoi zomdu on March 1.

Gongsar Karma Choppel has a master’s degree in science from Texas State University, USA.

and worked as the Chief Environment Officer, and later resigned in 2013 and worked as Chief Environment Officer in PHPA.

It is the second NC election for Sangay Tenzin.

Galey Tenzin, 46, the lone aspirant from Samkhar gewog sealed his candidature with 351 Yes votes and 34 No votes from a total of 378 voters at the zomdu on March 3.

Galey Tenzin has a Master’s in Project Planning and Management from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. He worked as dzongkhag agriculture officer, and resigned as the general Manager at Bhutan Agro Industries Limited to contest in NC elections.

Jakar Dorji, 44, from Kangpara gewog, also confirmed his candidature with 572 Yes votes and 43 No votes from a total of 615 votes during the dhamngoi zomdu on March 7.

He has a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Canberra, Australia. He worked in Regional Revenue and Customs, administration and procurement, and was a manager of administration in Bhutan Ferro alloys Limited.

Thrimshing gewog nominated Sangay Tenzin, 45, as the gewog’s candidate after he secured 364 Yes votes and 161 No votes during the nomination on March 8.

Sangay Tenzin has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Science from Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan. Before contesting for the NC election, he worked as an Assistant District Health Officer.

The incumbent NC member, Lhatu from Lumang gewog is not re-contesting.

Kanglung, Yangnyer, Khaling, Merak, Sakteng, Bartsham, Shongphu, Lumang, Bidung, Udzorong, and Trashigang thromde did not nominate candidates.

Trashigang dzongkhag has 25,103 male and 26,862 female eligible voters. However, only 5,130 voters showed up during the dhamngoi zomdu.

According to the dzongkhag election officials, the total number of eligible voters will be changed after freezing the electoral roll.

Election officials said that the voter turnout as of now has been low despite creating awareness. “People don’t give much importance to NC elections as an election for the National Assembly and just send only a member from a family to vote,” an election official said.

The first dhamngoi zomdu convenened in Merak and Sakteng on February 27. Trashigang, one of the largest dzongkhags in eastern Bhutan, had eight candidates in the 2018 NC election.