Weather worries general round voters, finance comes in second

With monsoon rains that have just set in, with the generous amount of showers every now and then, voters who need to travel to their respective constituencies are quite worried about how Election Day would turn out. Few are, however, hopeful and won’t change plans on account of the weather.

A 42-year-old taxi driver in Thimphu, who could not take part during the primary round of elections, plans to exercise his right to vote for the general round of elections, which he thinks is crucial as it will decide the ruling government and the opposition party.

The taxi driver who is from Martshala gewog under Samdrup Jongkhar said he didn’t participate during the party-based election because he was quite sure that the two old parties would make it to the General Election.

“And it indeed happened that way,” he said.

He has plans to go to his village, but he is little concerned whether he could really be able to make it and he doesn’t want to miss his chance to contribute his one precious vote.

He said challenges seem obvious during the monsoon, and the road at his place is not so good.

“Anyhow, I am positive and along with me there are three others going to the same destination,” he said.

During primaries, voters in places like Gasa and some southern dzongkhags had to endure a tough travel routine just to make it to polling stations as weather conditions created road blocks and landslides in Gasa, and swollen rivers almost washed away people and structures like bridges in the south.

That way, nature’s inconsistent drill has made many a voters to turn homeward and forego their chance to vote.

A graduate who is from Punakha, Yeshey Wangmo, 24, is excited and determined to vote this time around as she voted during the primaries.

She said voting was easy during the last elections since there were multiple choices, but is indecisive for the General Round.

“This time, I think it will be very difficult to choose, because of equally strong candidates from both the parties,” she said.

Indecision would come later for her as she wore a concerned look regarding weather conditions, which she believes will change people’s minds, and cause them to cancel their travel plans to their constituencies.

For some, this General Round, or for that matter, the whole voting experience will be their first. And reasons range from natural process of reaching the voting age to just being unaware of the need to exercise their franchise which will shape the democratic process.

A housewife Sonam Choden, 23, wants to experience the thrill of voting her choice of party to power. She is aware of the candidates since she watches the BBS channel regularly.

She said the capability of a candidate is more important than the party, adding that “Whoever wins, be it PDP or DPT, the candidate representing the constituency should be capable enough to bring positive changes.”

Sonam Tshering, 27, shared that people had a difficult time in reaching to their respective polling stations in the first round, and it did not just involve the weather-related inconveniences. It also involves a lot of financial expenditure for many who cannot easily shell out required cash.

The 27-year-old said many in his radar of friends, co-workers and neighbors were weighing the pros and cons for the sake of delivering one vote across rivers, hills, and mountains to eventually get nothing, but a probable disappointment.

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