A lone woman attends the last forum of thrompon election

Loten Zangmo

Motithang, like some say, is the Beverly Hills of the capital city. The so-called plush area of the city is home to the rich, powerful and the educated. They could make a difference in how the capital city shapes up. Going by a recent experience, it is not.

On April 18, the three thrompon candidates round up their common forum from Motithang. To their surprise there was only one voter to listen to their pledges and what they have in store for the thromde. The woman, Kuensel confirmed, listened to all the three candidates, even if it was an awkward moment for her and the candidates.

Motithang has about 500 registered voters, making it the smallest constituency. Participation in the thromde’s election had been a problem with the constituency. In 2011, only two voters turned up at the zomdu. The most urbanised constituency never had a thrompon candidate so far and couldn’t find a tshogpa candidate in 2011.

It is not voter apathy, says some voters. They said that they didn’t know about the common forum held by the Thimphu thrompon candidates. Some said that without a tshogpa, there is no one to inform people about the common forums.

Some Motithang voters said candidates are conducting door-to-door campaigns and it was not important to attend the common forums.

Thrompon candidate from Taba, Sonam Dorji, said he felt proud and thanked the woman who represented other voters of Motithang.  On his Facebook page, the candidate said the woman kept democracy alive.

He said residents might not have come to attend the last common forum because they didn’t have a tshogpa to inform them or because it was on a Sunday.

Other thrompon candidates were not much bothered about the poor turnout during the common forum.

Former thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said he knew many wouldn’t turn up for the common forum and focused on the  door-to-door campaign.

The candidate from Kawajangsa, Ugyen Dorji, said he also focused more on door-to-door campaigns and did not bother when only one person turned up for the common forum.

He said people know about their campaign and pledges through social media.