English | Dzongkha Sunday, June 24, 2018

SJ receives no postal ballots for upcoming LG election

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar
Apr 3, 2017

The Election Office in Samdrup Jongkhar has not received a single postal ballot for the upcoming local government election to fill the vacant Demkhongs. Yesterday was the last day to receive postal ballots.

The Election Commission of Bhutan has announced April 18 as the poll day for the 60 remaining vacant Demkhongs in 19 dzongkhags and the bye-election for the post of Gewog Tshogde Tshogpa in Dozotoen Chiwog of Soe Gewog under Thimphu Dzongkhag.

With seven Demkhongs without Gewog Tshogde Tshogpas and one vacant Dzongkhag Thromde Tshogpa post,  Samdrup Jongkhar is the dzongkhag with the highest number of vacant posts.

The seven vacant Demkhongs are Damsagang Toed and Tshoduen under Samrang Gewog, Tsothang and Betseling-Doongmanma under Lauri Gewog, Nabar-Philooma under Orong Gewog, and Rikhey and Martang Chiwogs under Dewathang Gewog. Meanwhile, Samdrup Jongkhar Toed is the Demkhong without a Thromde Tshogpa.

Despite several public notifications calling for postal ballots, election officials in Samdrup Jongkhar say they have not received any postal ballot application. In the last LG general election, the election office received close to 4,000 postal ballot applications.

Apart from not receiving a single postal ballot, three of the seven Demkhongs without Gewog Tshogde Tshogpas- Damsagang Toed, Tshoduen and Tshogthang- still do not have anyone vying for the post.

People in Demkhongs with with Tshogpa candidates, meanwhile, are looking forward to the poll day. They say without a Tshogpa, it’s been difficult to remain informed about gewog developmental activities.

“We are not aware of what’s happening in the gewog. This is not healthy. We need to be aware, particularly about the important decisions made by the gewog office,” said Dorji Dema.

Kinley Dorji, another villager, said without a Tshogpa, there is no one to represent their voice or concerns. “We are left without anyone to represent us and our problems at the Gewog Tshogdu.”

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