Two women gups and 24 women Mangmis have been elected in the second local government elections according to the provisional vote count released by the election commission.
Both the women gups were elected in the central district of Dagana, which has the distinction of electing the first woman gup, Namgay Pelden, in the 2011 LG elections.
Tashiding gewog re-elected Namgay Pelden as their gup with 854 votes. Her male opponent Karma Dechen Chogyal secured 426 votes.
“I am delighted to have won so much support from my people,” Namgay Pelden said. “I am also excited to have another woman as a gup from the same dzongkhag.”
Dagana also elected Pema Wangmo Tamang as gup of Gesarling gewog. She secured 366 votes narrowly defeating her opponent who secured 344 votes.
“It is not about being more powerful than man. It’s about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It’s not a badge like a fashion item,” said the former NFE instructor.
A total of 24 women were elected as Mangmis from Chhukha, Lhuentse, Mongar and Trashigang. Bumthang, Gasa, Samtse, Tsirang and Zhemgang had only male Mangmi candidates.
Sonam Choden, 47, from Zobel, Pemagatshel, secured 690 votes while her male opponent Karma Tshering got 342 votes. “Well I do not know much about democracy but I think in democracy there are no winners and losers. Those who are capable and desirous of serving their country and people came forward and stood for the elections,” she said.
Dendup Dema from Shongphu, Trashigang, secured 560 votes to narrowly beat Phuntsho Gyeltshen who secured 545. The third contestant Rinzin Tshewang got 226 votes. “In standing for election, I sought the votes of my people. In carrying out my duties, I must gain the trust and faith of all the people,” she said.
The newly elected gup of Shongphu said, “Dendup Dema is hardworking and dedicated to her work and we are glad to have her”.
Sonam Zangmo, 35, from Drepong, Monggar, got 442 votes to beat Neten Wangchuk with 182 votes and Lhatu with only 65 votes. “I would like to thank each and every individual who made me the new Mangmi of Drepong and in return I shall do my best to carry out my responsibilities,” she said.
Tshewang Rinzin, 54, who came to cast the vote said, “all great leaders have one characteristic in common: the willingness to confront unequivocally the anxiety of the people. We are proud to have Sonam Zangmo as our Mangmi”.
Sonam Zangmo from Chang, Thimphu, got 296 votes to beat her opponent Sonam Tshering who got 168 votes. She said, “Your people are your greatest resource; listen to their feedback and encourage their dreams. “
People who came to cast their votes said, “We did our part today by casting a votes and now we want to see how well our new leaders does their jobs”.