Gasa elected a candidate who contested thrice, Tenzin and the youngest female candidate, Yeshey Dem to represent the dzongkhag in the parliament on October 18. 

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) Khatoed Laya candidate, Tenzin secured a landslide victory, 320 more votes than Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) Changa Dawa. The former won 588 votes against the latter’s 268 votes. 

Tenzin beat a beginner, Changa Dawa who entered the political fray after completing his graduation in 2106. The duo tied only at Gasa primary school polling station, winning 34 votes each. 

DNT’s Tenzin won in the rest of the polling stations with a minimum of 14 votes difference and also recorded more postal ballot votes, 89 out of 113 ballots. On poll day, one ballot was rejected after it was delivered to the wrong constituency. 

Tenzin said he could record this victory only after contesting in an election for the third time. “People are smart and supportive today. They know who is the better candidate. Voters look at the president, party, manifestos, and experiences in the candidates,” he said. 

He said the people elected him with a huge trust after seeing his voluntary services in the community for the last five years. “I aspire to serve them better than ever and beyond my pledges.”

Changa Dawa said every candidate contesting an election expects to win to get an opportunity to serve the people. 

“I was not disappointed with the loss because I lost the election with equity and justice and through transparency,” he said. “With my experience and time, I expect people to support me in the future.”

With Changa Dawa’s loss in Khatoed Laya constituency, DPT has never won from the constituency since 2008. People’s Democratic Party represented the constituency in the last 10 years as an opposition and ruling party. 

In Khamed Lunana constituency, DNT’s Yeshey Dem won 58 more votes than DPT’s candidate Dhendup from Lunana. Yeshey Dem won in four polling stations and Dhendup in three polling stations on EVM. 

Yeshey Dem’s win in the election came through the postal ballot. The ballots created a difference of 41 votes between the two. With only 17 votes difference, it was a close race between the two on the EVM.

Although DPT’s candidate was based in Lunana, he lost the majority of the EVM votes from Thangza polling station, which has the highest number of registered voters in the gewog. His contender, Yeshey Dem secured the highest votes from Lunana at Thangza PS. 

Since 2008, the constituency has elected a candidate from the party that forms the government. It elected DPT’s candidate in 2008, PDP’s candidate in 2013 and DNT’s candidate in 2018. 

Khamed Lunana is one of the seven constituencies that will be represented by a woman parliamentarian. At 25, she is also the youngest candidate elected to date.

Meanwhile, Gasa moves to yet another important event in the dzongkhag’s calendar to celebrate the Royal Highlander Festival, on October 23-24, at Langothang, Laya. 

Nima | Gasa