…since there are no aspiring candidates

Dechen Dolkar 

The post of tshogpa candidates in four chiwogs still remains vacant despite two rounds of bye-elections announced in the demkhongs. No aspiring candidates filed nominations to the returning officer. 

The four tshogpa demkhongs are Pangthang-Redingla chiwog in Chhimoong gewog at Pemagatshel, Damsagang Toed in Samrang gewog at Samdrup Jongkhar, Samdrup Jongkgar Bar thromde tshogpa and Jomphu chiwog in Soe gewog. 

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has conducted election for vacant post in the 18 gewog tshogde tshogpa demkhongs of the ten dzongkhags and two thromde tshogpa demkhong  of Motithang under Thimphu thromde and Tashiling under Gelegphu thromde on May 5.   

ECB officials said that the commission has conducted elections for the second round as the post remains vacant during the third Local Government election.

The official said that ECB has also conducted a functional literacy test (FLT) before the election for vacant demkhong was called. 

The official said that now to conduct the elections it has come through gewogs and dzongkhags stating that they have candidates to contest for the post. 

“Even if commission calls for elections and if there is no aspiring candidate, it will be only the time waste and budget waste,” the official said.

The official said that when ECB called elections for the vacant posts in May, there were aspiring candidates with FLT certificates, but candidates withdrew at the last moment and the posts still remain vacant.

The Gewog Administration Officer (GAO) of Pangthang chiwog, Sangay Dorji said that there were two candidates contesting for the post during the second round of elections.

He said that however, both of them were disqualified. One candidate got disqualified because his cooling period after de-registering with a party was not completed during the time of nomination.

The other candidate was disqualified since he was registered with a political party. It was claimed that it was registered without his concern.

He said now the gewog is going to request ECB to conduct an election since the cooling period of the aspirant candidate has completed on May 4. The chiwog has 18 households.

Damsagang Toed chiwog of Samrang gewog has only two households, with around 14 people registered and currently, only about seven people are living in the chiwog.

Samrang Gup, Jigme Singay Drukpa said that they have requested the Department of Local Government that if some households of Ngantshothang Toed chiwog can be merged with Damsagang Toed chiwog.

The two chiwogs are nearby and some households of Ngantshothang Toed is located in Damsagang toed. Ngangtshothang Toed has around 30 households.  

The gup said that there is one class 12 pass-out candidate, but he didn’t have the FLT certificate. 

Similarly, in the Jomphu chiwog under Soe gewog initially, there was an aspiring candidate with an FLT certificate. Gup Kencho Dorji said that the person withdrew his candidature after his wife was elected as the Mangmi in Lingzhi gewog.

“Now there is no candidate to contest and they don’t have also FLT certificate,” Gup said. Chiwog has seven households.  

For the Samdrup Jonkhar Thromde tshogpa, recently two aspirant candidates came forward, but they did not have FLT certificates.

Meanwhile, ECB has not called elections for the posts of Gasa and Pemagatshel thromde Ngothsab since there are no registered voters in those constituencies.