While Thimphu Thromde has a population of over 100,000 people, only a few thousands are qualified to vote for the mayor. Residents in the city are concerned about the upcoming mayor race, which will be decided by a handful of eligible voters next month.
However, there is a noticeable lack of enthusiasm as people brace for the third city election. The majority of residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the mayor’s election.
Sonam Dorji, 33, who resides in the core town area said although he wants to vote for the right person in the thromde election, however, he is not qualified to vote as he does not have census in the city.
“I believe it is high time for ECB to recognize us as a citizen with the ability to vote for a better future,” he said, and further added that the people should vote to express their opinions on the need for better service delivery.
“ECB should encourage us to vote for a Thrompon because eligible voters elect a mayor, and if that mayor fails, we must face the consequences with them because we share the same city,” he said.
Another resident, Sangay, has been living in Babesa for 40 years said the city has a population of over a hundred thousand people, but only a handful of them are eligible to vote and elect a mayor. He questioned how just a few people can elect a mayor for 100,000 people living in the same city.
He said, “We cannot bear the repercussions of the thousands of voters choosing the wrong candidate,” he said.
Kinley Wangmo, 45, a resident of Dechencholing says that every person who lives or works in this city wishes to vote for or elect a mayor as there are numerous problems in the area.
“Where has the transition occurred? A mayor is elected by a small number of voters, but he or she fails to implement new reforms. There is a need for improvement. We are really interested, and if given a opportunity, we will vote in the city election,” she said.
She said that urbanization is moving in a direction that will have far reaching consequences in the future. The topics must be brought to the Parliament by the elected officials and lawmakers.
“Issues such as gaping potholes, water shortages, transportation, and other public services remain a persistent problem when the majority of city residents have no say in elections,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Dhamngoi Zomdu for the three thromdes ended on Thursday. There are three candidates contesting in Thimphu Thromde election and they are Sonam Dorji, from Dechencholing-Taba, Ugyen Dorji from Jungshina-Kawajangsa, and former Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee. Two candidates in the Gelephu Thromde election are former Gelephu Thrompon Tikaram Kafley and businessman Tshering Norbu.
The four aspiring candidates for Phuentsholing Thromde election are Karma Gelay, former Thrompon Uttam Kumar Rai, Chhungku Dawa and Devi Charan Dhimal.
There are 8,007 registered voters in Thimphu Thromde, 1,542 in Gelephu and 932 in Phuentsholing.