Three friends vie for Tsenkhar Gup post

Pema Seldon
from Lhuntse

Three long time friends will be battling it out for Gup’s post in Tsenkhar Gewog in Lhuntse.
Sonam Tshering from Domkhar Umling Chiwog, Tsheten Wangdi from Autsho Chhabi Chiwog and Kunzang Penjor from Goney Wambur Chiwog in Tsenkhar Gewog have been friends for many years now.
“We never thought or imagined that the day will come when we have to compete against each other for the gup’s post. We have always supported each other,” said Kunzang Penjor.
Contesting for the second time, Kunzang Penjor, 38, said all of them are capable and whoever wins will fulfill the expectations of the people. He also worked as Tshogpa for three years.
Their friendship started in Wambur Primary School in 1980s. Kunzang Penjor and Sonam Tshering were seniors to Tsheten Wangdi.
According to Tsheten Wangdi, 36, from Autsho Chhabi Chiwog, who was former gup of Tsenkhar Gewog, they have campaigned together for second local government election. “It feels like old days,” he said.
Sonam Tshering is the first contestant in the past 27 years from Domkhar Umling Chiwog. He worked in SNV-Netherland Development organization in Bhutan for 23 years.
A father of six, if elected, he will try his best to introduce alternate economic opportunities to boost the local economy. He will also focus on construction of farm roads and irrigation channels.
“Between the candidates, there will be 10 to 15 votes differences but whoever wins I will be okay with it. After all we are good friends and to me winning is not that important. What is important is to be able to participate in the election,” said Sonam Tshering.
Kunzang Penjor, a father of five, said many young people have abandoned their villages choosing to live and work in urban towns. “Those who are here in the village are not interested to take part in election. So we have no choice but to participate in the election,” he said.
If elected, he would educate and encourage young people to take part in elections. “They can earn money and can contribute to the growth and development of the communities,” said Kunzang Penjor.
Tsheten Wangdi, a father of three, said he knows a lot about the on-going 11th Plan activities which he feels need close attention of the one who started it. “I also have some idea about the 12th plan activities too,” he said.
“I have always been there for the public whether it was late in the night or early morning. I will continue to do so if I am elected this time too,” said Tsheten Wangdi.
He further stated that people have trusted him before and elected him as their gup and he is sure that people’s faith and support is still there for him. “Within those five years I have gained a lot of experience and learned so many things. I don’t want to quit. I have so much to give,” he said.
Tsenkhar Gewog has five Chiwogs and 459 households with a population of 4,050.