Election areas set for Dzongkhag and Yenlag Thromdes
Election areas in the Dzongkhag Thromdes are finalized by the Election Commission of Bhutan after thorough public consultation conducted early this month. The demarcation of such areas called ‘delimitation’ is completed for 15 Dzongkhag Thromdes and 18 Dzongkhag Yenlag Thromdes approved by the parliament.
Dzongkhag Thromdes will now have Dzongkhag Thromde Tshogde Tshogpa Demkhongs. The number of Demkhongs can vary from six to nine determined by the size of the registered voter population of the Thromde. If a Thromde has less than 5,000 registered voters then it will have minimum of six demkhongs. Whereas a Thromde can have maximum of nine demkhongs with more than 10,000 registered voters.
For now all 15 Dzongkhag Thromdes will have only six Demkhongs each given the limited number of registered voters. Bumthang Dzongkhag Thromde has the largest registered voter population of 2,265 people.
A Thrompon, a thromde thuemi and Tshogpa for each demkhongs will be elected during the Dzongkhag Thromde elections.
However, Gasa Dzongkhag Thromde is deprived of registered voters in five of their six allotted demkhongs. Election Commission says that, in such case, even a demkhong can elect office bearers to the Thromde. Phulakha Demkhong under Gasa Thromde is the only demkhong with 23 registered voters.
According to the press release from the Election Commission, efforts have been made to ensure that the voter population of Demkhongs in a Thromde is equal or similar in size so as to give equivalent weight to the votes cast by every voter.
Consideration had to be given not only to create clear geographical boundaries but also to the changes in the proposed Demkhong boundaries based on valid reasons put forward by the participants during the public consultation.
However, people of Paro decried over the decision of the Parliament in considering the boundaries for their Dzongkhag Thromde. So they did not favour the discussion on consultation of delimitation of demkhongs under the Thromde.
The declaration of the Dzongkhag Thromdes and Dzongkhag Yenlag Thromdes has changed boundaries of 34 Gewogs and 56 Chiwogs.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has asked the government to provide clear directives as to who will administer the Dzongkhag Yenlag Thromdes: Dzongkhag or gewogs?
The Dzongkhag Yenlag Thromdes like Damji in Gasa and the Dhosoon in Trashi Yangtse will not have elections as they do not have registered voters while Lhamoi Dzingkha in Dagana has the highest registered voter population for Yenlag Thromde with 1,021 people.
The Dzongkhag Thromde Tshogde Tshogpa Demkhongs were delimited for 15 Dzongkhag Thromdes of Bumthang, Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Monggar, Paro, Punakha, Samtse, Trashigang, Trashi Yangtse, Trongsa, Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang and Zhemgang.