Com­mu­ni­ties elect their new Gup can­di­dates

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing from Wang­duepho­drang

The peo­ple of Phobji Ge­wog elected for­mer gup while Nahi Ge­wog voted for a new Gup can­di­date.

In Phobji Ge­wog, for­mer gup Jamt­sho, 38, won the elec­tion with 762 votes, of which 39 were postal votes. His op­po­nent, Karma, se­cured 392 votes.

Kin­ley Ten­zin, 34, was elected the new gup of Nahi Ge­wog with 282 votes over Sonam, who se­cured 210 votes.

The for­mer gup Jamt­sho was nom­i­nated from Khy­im­dro-Nem­phel chi­wog zomdu af­ter se­cur­ing 171 “yes” votes and 20 “no” votes. With this vic­tory, Gup Jamt­sho will serve his sec­ond term.

The new Nahi gup Kin­ley Ten­zin was voted out with the to­tal of 82 votes from 117 vot­ers dur­ing the Nag­bisa Chi­wog zomdu. Now the com­mu­nity de­cides him to take over the post of gup in the sec­ond LGs elec­tion.

The can­di­dates for lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fices need to pro­duce cer­tifi­cate of func­tion­ally lit­er­acy test to at­test that they are ad­e­quately skilled. The can­di­dates are more ed­u­cated, which will be im­por­tant to func­tion of the lo­cal gov­ern­ments as the Con­sti­tu­tion gives lo­cal lead­ers sig­nif­i­cant pow­ers to im­ple­ment plans for so­cio-eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

Gup Jamt­sho holds a diploma cer­tifi­cate in Bud­dhist and Phi­los­o­phy from In­dia. He served as Phobji ge­wog clerk for 10 years then as Phobji gup in 2011 in the first LG elec­tions.

Nahi gup was a class 12 grad­u­ate from Ugyen Academy, Pu­nakha, and worked in Bank of Bhutan from 2006 to 2014. Then, he ini­ti­ated a farm in Nahi.

Ge­wog ad­min­is­tra­tions for­mu­late five-year devel­op­ment plans run their own bud­get, and raise their own labour for pub­lic projects.

The elected lo­cal lead­ers will im­ple­ment the 12th five-year-plan at the grass­roots level.

Jamt­sho said, “I have works to com­plete from the first term in the 11th FYP. Now I can take off the ge­wog devel­op­ment plan in the 12th plan.”

There are some is­sues which were not ini­ti­ated in the 11th plan, ac­cord­ing to him. There­fore, he wants to in­cor­po­rate them in the 12th plan.

Since he has been work­ing be­tween the peo­ple and the gov­ern­ment over the years, he said he will use his ex­pe­ri­ence. “I have ex­pe­ri­ence in work­ing with all the peo­ple and cover many dif­fer­ent is­sues,” he said. But he added that he is not yet sat­is­fied with his own ser­vice to the peo­ple.

Phobji Gup said that the com­mu­ni­ties have given him the sec­ond chance and, there­fore, he should up­hold the peo­ple’s trust and work harder. “I served my best with all the pos­si­bil­i­ties dur­ing the first ten­ure,” he said, adding that the ge­wog brought the devel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties to the vil­lage over the years.

Nahi Gup Kin­ley said that his win has en­cour­aged him to work hard. He said, “I feel a strong sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity and duty as a gup.” But he is wor­ried with the amount of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He wishes to im­prove the farm roads and make them pli­able through­out the year. “I have to look for­ward to con­nect the vil­lages by bridges that were washed away by flash floods on the night of Septem­ber 17, 2016,” Kin­ley said.

Jamt­sho hopes to sup­port farm­ing and erad­i­cate poverty. He said he has con­tested not to com­pete with his op­po­nent. “I have hoped to serve the peo­ple with full ded­i­ca­tion and mostly I don’t want to mis­use the power that comes with the re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Gup said.

Kin­ley said he wants to serve all lo­cal peo­ple equally with re­spect. “Ev­ery­body should be treated equally and with dig­nity,” he said. “I will help them with all the pos­si­bil­i­ties,”

Fur­ther, through de­cen­tral­iza­tion, he said he will give the power to the peo­ple to bring the is­sues. “We will dis­cuss is­sues to­gether for our devel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties,” Kin­ley said.

Phobji gup wants to bring im­prove­ment in drink­ing wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties and im­prove the farm roads that mostly re­main muddy dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son.

With the beau­ti­ful val­ley and a large pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in the vil­lages, he hopes to set the ge­wog as an ex­am­ple to the rest of the gewogs in Wang­duepho­drang Dzongkhag. He said, “I’ll bring devel­op­ment in all fronts.”

In Phob­jikha, farm­ers were strug­gling in the muddy farm road trans­port­ing their pota­toes to Phuntshol­ing dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son. The gup says while many prob­lems were solved dur­ing his first ten­ure, some are yet to solved.

Nahi gup also hopes to im­prove the ex­ist­ing farm road qual­ity to make sure that it is us­able around the year.

Agri­cul­ture re­mains the pri­mary source of liveli­hood for the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion. Nahi Gup said he pledged to ren­o­vate the ex­ist­ing ir­ri­ga­tion chan­nels to en­sure the devel­op­ment of agri­cul­ture in the vil­lage.

The peo­ple rec­og­nize their lead­ers by deeds and achieve­ments. Things are ex­pected to change with their can­di­dates.

Peo­ple are happy with the devel­op­ment brought by the for­mer gup who is now re-elected.

Pas­sang Tob­gay, 30, said, “Our ge­wog has de­vel­oped so much un­der his lead­er­ship.”

Jigme, 26, from Nahi said, “We have elected our new lo­cal lead­ers and we have to ap­pre­ci­ate them for be­ing con­cerned about ev­ery is­sue of the vil­lages.”

“For all prac­ti­cal pur­pose, it is now safe to say he have se­cured the elec­tions bat­tles of our ge­wog,” Jigme said. “I hope he will def­i­nitely per­form what we ex­pected.”

While the for­mer tshogpa Sati was elected as the mangmi of Phob­jik Ge­wog and Tandin Wangchuk in Nahi ge­wog.

More than 500 polling of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity per­son­nel, were sent to 79 dif­fer­ent polling sta­tions across 15 gewogs in Wang­duepho­drang.

The Con­sti­tu­tion states that the can­di­dates’ lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions must not be­long to any po­lit­i­cal, must not be reg­is­tered clergy, and must meet the res­i­dency, char­ac­ter, and other re­quire­ments of Bhutan elec­tion laws.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act of Bhutan 2009 is the lat­est legislation on lo­cal gov­ern­ments, es­tab­lish­ing Gewogs as their di­vi­sions of Dzongkhags, them­selves with lo­cally-gov­ern­ing coun­sels.

All lo­cal gov­ern­ments are ad­min­is­tra­tive di­vi­sions and are pro­hib­ited to make laws, how­ever they are em­pow­ered to make rules and reg­u­la­tions con­sis­tent with law es­tab­lished by Par­lia­ment. The sec­ond LG elec­tions con­cluded on 27 Septem­ber af­ter the com­ple­tion of the tenures of the first demo­crat­i­cally elected LGs. The first LG elec­tions un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion of Bhutan, which was adopted in 2008, were held in 2011.

Nahi Gup elect Kin­ley Ten­zin

Phobji Gup elect Jamt­sho

(This ar­ti­cle is re­ported with sup­port from DoIM)

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