The Chiwog Zomdu in Nangkor gewog, Zhemgang, where primary round elections are held to nominate candidates for the local government elections were successfully completed yesterday but the voter turnout was low.
The Nangkor gewog Chiwog Zomdu started on 21st August from Dakhpel-Kekhar Chiwog, then moved to Nyakha Chiwog, then to Dunmang Chiwog and finished yesterday afternoon in Goling Chiwog.
Nangkor’s gewog administrative officer, Tashi Rabten, said the voter turnout for the Chiwog Zomdus was very low but more voters may turn up in the secondary round of the election when candidates actually contest for the LG posts.
Despite the low turnout people from as far as Pemagatshel, Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsholing had come to vote during the primary round Tashi Rabten said.
In Goling Chiwog, from the 164 voters the Gup candidate secured 84 votes and the Mangmi candidate secured 147 ‘yes’ votes.
In Duenmang Chiwog, of the 109 voters both the Gup and Mangmi candidate secured 99 ‘yes’ votes.
In Nagar Chiwog, the Gup candidate secured 84 ‘yes’ votes and Mangmi candidate secured 56 ‘yes’ votes of 103 votes cast.
According to Tsherab Gyeltshen, Mangmi candidate from Nagar Chiwog, the main reason voters not turning up this time is because people do not take the primary round seriously and are busy with farmwork.
Dakphel-Tali Chiwog was the only Chiwog in Nangkor Gewog that did not have a candidate contesting for Gup. The Mangmi candidate secured 62 votes out of 83 votes cast.
In Buli Chiwog, of the 163 votes cast the Gup candidate secured 83 ‘yes’ votes and Mangmi candidate secured 145 ‘yes’ votes.
Former Nangkor Gup, Dorji Wangchuk, sai, Buli and Dunmang Chiwogs have 570 and 590 registered voters but only 100 to 200 voters turn up for the local government election.
“People do not take the Chiwog Zomdu seriously and I am sure more will turn up during the secondary round,” he said.
Ugyen Tshomo, Zhemgang Dzongkhag Election Officer, said, voter education was done twice highlighting the importance of both the primary round and secondary round.
“We even conveyed that primary round of election is much more important than the secondary round but it is their fundamental right whether to vote or not,” she said. “I am sure more voters will turn up during the poll day on 27th September.”
This story is made possible with fund support from Bhutan Media Foundation and SDC.