130 NC candidates selected

Six female candidates were selected out of seven aspirants

A total of 130 National Council (NC) candidates have been selected from the Dhamgnoi zomdu held across the country.

Dhamngoi zomdu was completed yesterday country wide. The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) had notified that the Dhamngoi zomdu could commence from February 24.

Dhamngoi zomdu is a selection and nomination process of a candidate for NC elections. Every gewog and dzongkhag thromde is eligible to nominate one candidate from their gewog and thromde.

Of the total aspiring candidates, 130 NC candidates have been selected through the zomdu process.

Only seven female candidates contested of which six of them got selected. Dr. Dechen Zangmo and Lhaki Dolma from Punakha, Tshewang Lhamo from Chukha, Kencho Wangmo from Tsirang, Tshelthrim Dukar from Samdrup Jongkhar and Sonam Pelzom from Mongar were selected, while Chador Wangmo from Dagana could not get through.

In the 2013 elections, four female contested but none of them got elected.

Meanwhile, 14 incumbent council members re-contested and 12 of them got selected. Sangay Khandu from Gasa and Kamal Bahadur Gurung from Tsirang were not selected during the zomdu.

Mongar dzongkhag which has 17 gewogs, the highest among all the dzongkhags has the highest number of NC candidates selected with 13.

However, Bumthang has only two NC candidates selected, with only two candidates contesting, the lowest among the dzongkhags.

Tsirang which had 18 aspirant NC candidates, the highest among the dzongkhags selected 12.

The last date of filing nomination for the candidates is March 19 and scrutiny of nominations of candidates and commencement of campaign is from March 20.

ECB will release the election campaign fund on March 22, the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

A public campaign fund of Nu 150,000 will be provided to each nominee by the state as fixed by the Election Commission as per Section 58 of the Public Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008.

A candidate will be allowed to spend only the amount provided by the state for his/her election campaign.

Therefore, if all the selected candidates file their nomination and scrutiny process gets through, around Nu 19.5mn will be spend on the election campaign.

The poll day for the NC elections is April 20.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu