August 9, 2007

Candidates Increased for a Seat in National Council

22 candidates from 14 dzongkhags have declared to contest for the seats in National Council

As Bhutan Gears up for Democracy in year 2008, more and more people are joining politics, The list of people declaring to run for the National Council elections is slowly increasing. As of yesterday, there were about 22 people who had made their interest public.

Sarpang dzongkhag had the maximum candidates so far with four candidates, Karma Donen Wangdi, Jamyang Sherub Wangdi, B.B Chettri and Major (retd) D.B. Rana.

Pema Tenzin and Choki Drakpa are contesting from Mongar, Sonam Phuntsho and Jigmi Palden are contesting from Bumthang, Rinzin Rinzin and Chhewang Rinzin from Lhuentse, Namgay R Dorji and Sangay Phurba are contesting from Punakha and Ugyen Tshering and Phub Dorji are contesting from Paro.

Haa, Chukha, Dagana, Chukha, Zhemgang, Pemagatshel, Trashigang, Samtse, and Wangduephodrang have only one candidate each. The candidates are Tshering Dorji from Haa, Pema Lhamo from Zhemgang, Sonam Dorji Wangchuk from Chukha, Kezang Dema from Dagana, Jigme Rinzin from Pemagatshel, Sonam Kinga from Trashigang, Dr. Mani Kumar Rai from Samtse and Sonam Phuntsho from Wangdue.

Six dzongkhags -Thimphu, Gasa, Trongsa, Tsirang, Samdrup Jongkhar and Trashiyangtse – do not have a single candidate yet.

Candidates contesting for a seat in the National Council will first have to be nominated from the gewogs, which means that there should ideally be at least 205 candidates. The candidates nominated from the gewogs will then go on to contest the dzongkhag level elections. The winner becomes the National Council member from the dzongkhag.

Candidates who declared their interest through the media said that they declared to let the people in their dzongkhag know who their candidates were. “Voters should be given time to know about the person who is going to represent them in the National Council,” said a candidate. “People should be given a choice to elect the best person.” Observers have pointed out that each dzongkhag should at least have three candidates so that the best represent the people.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Bhutan is in the midst of conducting seminars in the chiwogs and gewogs to educate voters on the National Council election procedures. More candidates are expected to declare after the seminars, which concludes on August 20.

The polling day for the National Council elections is set for December.
Source: Kuenselonline

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