Two former gomchens (lay monks) are vying for Gup in Trashigang’s Bartshamgewog, which has the least candidates contesting for the post, in the local government elections scheduled for September.
Bartsham is regarded as the business gewog of the eastern district just as Radhi and Phongmey
KezangDawa, 34, from Kummung chiwog served for 21 years as a gomchen. “Until now I served the people as a Gomchen, now I feeI I should play a role by participating in the democratic process,” he said. “I always wanted to contribute toward the community and it is possible by participating in politics.”
On why there were fewer LG candidates from the gewog Kezang Dawa said that most people are engaged in trade and some felt that becoming a gup is a burden. “Some are not ready to participate in civic and political life yet,” he said.
The other gup candidate, Chador Phuntsho, 35, from Benangkhar Chiwog, also served as a gomchen for several years and later worked as a gewog clerk.
He said he decided to contest because the people had requestedhim after hearing that the former gup was not re-contesting.
Chador Phuntsho said that people of his gewog feels that he would be an ideal candidate to represent them since he worked as gewog clerk for eight years.
“I am happy that people trust me that I can represent them,” he said. “As a Gomchen I served people through spiritual services, now I decided to serve the people in the capacity of an elected leader.”
He said that he is very pleased with the encouragement from the people who insisted he stand for gup.
This story was made possible with support from Bhutan Media Foundation and SDC.