Curtains down on LG elections

SONAM PENJOR | Thimphu

With the reconsideration of audit clearance of nine candidates by the Royal Audit Authority, the third Local Government (LG) elections, 2021, has been successfully conducted according to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

The Election Commission of Bhutan’s (ECB) media spokesperson, Phub Dorji said that compared to the previous elections there is a drastic increase in the voter turnout with 68.42 percent.

In addition, he said that the success of today’s election was because of an increase in the election of women gups. “The election of seven women gup was another successful milestone in the LG elections. In 2016 we had only two women elected gups,” he said.

Besides, more than 200 candidates with master’s and graduate certificate holders participated in the LG elections. “Of that only 107 candidates have been elected for various LG posts,” he said.

Despite deploying thousands of human resources for election duty, the official also added that their officials on duty didn’t face any untoward incidents like the spread of the Covid-19 virus and car accidents among others.

Meanwhile, 21 candidates contested for the eight affected gewogs for the post of eight gups and one tshogpa. A total of nine candidates, eight males and one female, been elected successfully on 6 January.

According to the ECB,  26 LG Demkhongs were left vacant because of negative voting/ tied result / vacant without candidates.

The eight affected gewogs for the post of gup were of Chapcha gewog under Chhukha Dzongkhag, gup of Dangchhu and Nyishog gewogs under Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag and gup of Patshaling gewog under Tsirang Dzongkhag.

In addition, the gup of Guma gewog and tshogpa of Changyul_Loongsilgang_Tashijong chiwog under Punakha Dzongkhag, gup of Korphu gewog under Trongsa Dzongkhag, gup of Soe gewog under Thimphu Dzongkhag and gup of Lunana gewog under Gasa Dzongkhag were also contested.

Tobgay was elected as Chapcha gewog’s gup after securing 774 votes over three other candidates contesting from the same gewog.

In Gasa, Kaka was elected as Lunana gewog’s gup after securing 322 votes over Genpo Tshering.

Meanwhile, Kinley Gyeltshen is the new gup-elect for Guma gewog in Punakha Dzongkhag. He had secured 695 votes. For the same post, three candidates contested the post.

Similarly, Sangay Khandu is Korpho gewog’s gup in Trongsa after securing 361 votes after winning over the other two other candidates.

For Soe gewog in Thimphu Dzongkhag, a lone candidate Kencho Dorjee was elected as the gup for the gewog after he secured 109 votes.

Chabi Kumar Rai is the new gup-elect of Patshaling gewog in Tsirang. He secured 807 votes over other candidates.

Phub Dorji was elected as the gup of Dangchhu gewog in Wangduephodrang after securing 640 votes while Dorji was elected to the post of gup of Nyishog gewog in Wangduephodrang.

For the post of gewog tshogde tshogpa of Changyul_Loongsilgang_Tashijong chiwog, Namgay Bidha was elected as tshogpa for the chiwog after securing 341 votes. Two female candidates had contested for the same post.

Meanwhile, the total registered voters for the eight affected gewogs were 11,884 comprising 5,544 males & 6,340 females. The total number of votes cast was 8,650 which comprise 3,923 males and 4,727 females. It is reported that electronic voting machines (EVM) dominated the postal votes.

A total of 6,208, comprising 2,758 male and 3,450 female voted through EVM votes while 2,442 voters, which comprises 1,165 male and 1,277 female, voted through a postal ballot which accounts for 72.79 of the overall voter turnout.