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Former gup Kencho Tshering and Thinley Dorji at the Mongar dzongkhag court

Gup candidates appeal to Mongar court

They say that the Gondue gup-elect should not have been allowed to register given his age

Law: Two gup candidates have appealed to the Mongar dzongkhag court that the gup-elect for Gondue gewog, Dorji Tshering, produced two seperate citizenship identity cards (CID) during the recent local government elections.

In the appeal letter, submitted on October 4, it is pointed out that the gup-elect, Dorji Tshering, who is a retired civil servant, produced two seperate CIDs. In his old CID his date of birth is January 1, 1949 while in his new CID it is January 1, 1959, the letter alleges.

The gup candidate from Phadzong constituency, Thinley Dorji, said that before the election, gup-elect Dorji Tshering had registered for the elections at the dzongkhag election office using his old CID.

Based on his first CID, gup-elect Dorji Tshering would be 67 years old and  not eligible to contest in the local government election.

“We are quite shocked how the dzongkhag election office permitted him to register for the LG elections,” said Thinley Dorji. He alleges that the dzongkhag election office knowningly permitted gup-elect Dorji Tshering to register.

Following poll day and within the petition period, Thinley Dorji and former gup, Kencho Tshering, submitted a petition to the dzongkhag election office on October 3.

Former gup Kencho Tshering said he and Thinley Dorji are not raising the issue because they lost the election but because the election Act must be upheld. He said by raising the issue now, a reoccurrence of the issue will not occur in future elections.

All the five chiwogs in Gondue gewog had a gup candidate each. Gup-elect Dorji Tshering secured 304 votes while former gup Kencho Tshering secured 144, Jambay Dorji got 177, Thinley Dorji obtained 102 and Tshering Dorji acquired 107.

The dzongkhag election office’s Sangay Dorji said that registration of candidates were done only after doucments were verified.

As per the election Act, if the census has been transfered for election purposes, it is entertained only after one year. However, there is no law that specifies entertainment of date of birth changes.

Meanwhile, the Shermuhung gewog gup candidate, Karma Choning Dema, has also appealled to the Mongar court for a different issue. Karma Choning Dema said that after the election results were declared, some people created misunderstanding within her chiwog. “For justice, I forwarded the case to court,” she said.

Shemuhung gewog had three gup candidates. Of the three candidates, Ugyen from Jabgang-Thiling constituency got 484 votes while Karma Choning Dema got 398 and Dechen Choden secured 109 votes.

Tashi Phuntsho | Mongar

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