Fifty-five year Ap Gyembo recalls how when he first went to the polls in 2008, he felt a sense of urgency and excitement. Things have not changed much since.
“I am as excited about the upcoming National Assembly (NA) elections. I expect to have knowledgeable and credible members in the parliament to serve the nation and the people in the best way.”
As the countdown to the NA elections begin, the level of enthusiasm among the residents of Trashigang is high.
Excitement is building up among the people.
“I am sure there will be real competition this time as all four parties have good candidates,” said a Trashigang resident.
Kuenzang Namgay, 25, said, “I am more excited now about the elections than before as I have matured and have a better understanding regarding matters of the country.”
His expectations are simple: to have an effective and active ruling party exerts full efforts on fulfilling the needs of the people in every nook and corner of the country.”
Further, he said the people expect a clean, corruption-free government with a balanced approach toward development.
Sangay, a student said that both the present and former governments brought about many changes and developments in the country. “I hope the new government will contribute to nation building as well.”
A shopkeeper said that the upcoming government should focus more on solving the unemployment problem. “As long as everyone is employed, everything in the country would run smoothly and crime rates would drop.”
However, Dorji, a farmer from Kanglung said that the major issue in the country right now is rural-urban migration, which leads to many other problems like unemployment and crimes in urban areas and empty households and shortage of labor in the rural areas. “I feel that the number one issue that the upcoming government should address is the rural-urban migration.”
Meanwhile, since last year, the dzongkhag election office has been engaged in conducting voter education programs to make voters aware of the electoral procedures.
Trashigang is the largest dzongkhag in terms of voter population. For the 2018 elections, Trashigang has 46,983 eligible voters while the number of eligible voters was 41,510 in the 2013 elections, according to statistical information on elections in Bhutan.
In the last five years, the number of eligible voters increased by 13.7 percent from 2013 when the total was 379,819.
Today there are 432,030 eligible voters for the third parliamentary election, while about 51% of the total eligible voters are women.
Jigme Wangchen from Trashigang