Two graduates, Jamyang and Sonam Zangpo, will compete for the post of gup in Samkhar gewog, Trashigang, in the by-election that is scheduled on December 3.
The by-election is being held following the death of the former gup in September.
During the dhamngoi zomdu held in Chazam-Pam chiwog yesterday, Jamyang secured 70 yes votes against two no votes to confirm his candidature from the chiwog.
Bikhar-Domkhar chiwog nominated Sonam Zangpo as their candidate with 148 yes votes against 32 no votes yesterday.
Jamyang has a bachelor’s degree from North Bengal University and has worked as a sales executive with the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd. (RICBL).
The 31-year-old was one of the seven candidates who contested during the National Council elections earlier this year from Samkhar gewog.
After securing the highest votes (2,385 votes) on the electronic voting machine (EVM) among his contenders, Jamyang came second with 3,974 votes on April 20.
“The support I received during the NC elections from my people was overwhelming,” he said. “I could not just let their support go in vain, which is why I’m contesting again for the post of the gup.”
He said that for almost 20 years now, there has not been a single gup from Chazam-Pam chiwog.
“Population-wise, we are at the disadvantage compared to the Khapti and Bikhar,” he said. “But because of the support I received and the confidence my people have in me, I’m setting this precedence to encourage future aspirants from Pam to take up this opportunity.”
Sonam Zangpo said that his interest to work with the people in the villages and the encouraging support he received from his people made him compete in the by-election.
The 37-year-old holds an honours degree in Economics from Shillong, India.
Prior to moving back home in Bikhar some eight years ago, Sonam Zangpo had worked with a private firm in Thimphu.
“Ever since I returned home, I have been interacting and working together with my people,” he said. “It was them who encouraged me to take up the opportunity.”
He said that he wants to motivate young graduates to take part in local governance and give back to the community.
Meanwhile, of the six chiwogs in Samkhar gewog, only two have received the nomination of candidates so far. As per the election regulation, election officials conducted a no nominee declaration in Kapang-Yenangdrangsa and Rangshikhar-Serdang chiwogs on November 12.
Officials said that if no nominations are filed, a similar declaration would be conducted in Melphey-Samkhar and Khabti-Lungtenzampa chiwogs today.
According to section 579 of the Election Act, “A by-election for filling any vacancy to Parliament shall be held within a period of ninety days and to Local Governments shall be held within a period of thirty days, from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy.”
However, it was learned that the by-election could not be held as per the stipulated time due to the national assembly elections last month.
The election office in Trashigang received the notification from the election commission calling the by-elections right after the conclusion of the petition period for the national assembly elections on November 7.
Younten Tshedup | Trashigang