LG: Two out of three mangmi contestants in Phuentsholing gewog are women and both are focusing on the importance of women participation at the common forums.

Mamta Mongar, 30, is a class IX dropout from Pachhu chiwog. Without a competitor during the zomdu, she got 151 Yes and 82 No votes.

During the common forum in her chiwog on September 9, Mamta Mongar addressed an audience of 70 people. It was her chance to convince those who voted against her at the zomdu.

“It is not that you have to vote for me,” Mamta Mongar said. “But vote for the right candidate.”

People think that women cannot become leaders, she said, adding that it was for this reason she decided to contest for the mangmi post, and to prove doubters wrong.

“Our country is doing fine as far as women participation matters,” Mamta Mongar said, adding however, that men dominate in leadership positions. “So I gathered all the courage to participate,” she said.

Meanwhile, the other woman participant is Yugu Maya Ghalley from Deling-Marpji chiwog. The 33-year-old woman has been a tshogpa for the last five years.

In the chiwog zomdu, she got 149 Yes votes out of 174 cast. Yugu Maya Ghalley said that she decided to contest on her own.

“So I need your support,” she said.

The class X graduate also underlined that women have the potential to do any kind of work. Time has changed but women still are not coming forward, she said, sending a clear message to the people that participation was more important than just winning.

Yugu Maya Ghalley said she would not make any promises but said she would help and support the people in whatever ways she can.

Meanwhile, the two women, who are friends, also have to compete against Kishore Man Rai in Phuentsholing gewog.

Kishore Man Rai, 35, is from Kungkha in Chongeykha-Dophulhaka chiwog. He secured 225 Yes votes out of 250 cast in the zomdu.

During the common forum on September 9, he asked the people to focus on the country’s tradition and culture. “Do not just look for structural development,” Kishore Man Rai said.

The Kungkha resident said that culture and tradition is the country’s strength and identifies the nation’s sovereignty. People must strengthen it, he added.

Kishore Man Rai also said that voting is an individual right. He asked the people to vote for the right and most deserving candidate.

Meanwhile, there are 30 mangmi contestants in the upcoming local government elections in Chukha, of which six are women.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Supported by Bhutan Media Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation