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More than 432,000 people eligible to vote on April 20

About 51 percent of the total eligible voters are women

A total of 432,030 people are eligible to vote in the third National Council (NC) elections, which will be held on April 20.

The number of eligible women voters outnumbers men. However, there are only six women among a total of 127 candidates.

According to the final electoral roll, women comprise 51.13 percent of the total eligible voters, while men make up 48.87 percent.

The electoral roll was prepared based on the population records of January 1, when out of the total, 220,881 are women and 211,149 are men.

Participation of women as candidates is only about 4.7 percent.

Trashigang, which has 46,983 eligible voters, is the largest dzongkhag in terms of voter population. Gasa has only 2,000 voters, which is the least among all the dzongkhags.

Out of the total registered voters in the country, 88,915 have registered as postal voters.

Citizens not younger than 18 years of age as on January 1 are added to the electoral roll, according to the ECB.

As for candidates, those born on or before March 19, 1993 and on or after March 19, 1953 meet the legal age requirement.

Those voters whose census is registered in a demkhong on or before December 31, 2016 meet the durational requirement to be a voter or candidate from that demkhong.

A draft electoral roll was issued on February 15 for public inspection and to invite the public to file claims and objections.

A notification from the ECB, states that respective dzongkhag election offices will continue to distribute the Voter Photo Identity Cards (VPICs) to those who were unable to collect it, even up to the poll day.

In the last five years, the number of eligible voters increased by 13.7 percent from 2013 election when the total was 379,819.

In absolute terms, there has been an increase of 52,211 eligible voters in the third NC election during the last five years.

While a total of 24,129 male voters were added in the electoral roll. The number of women increased by 28,082.

In the first NC election held in 2007 and 2008, there were a total of 312,817 eligible voters.

Over the last 10 years, the number of eligible voters has increased by 119,213.

Candidates wise, Tsirang, which has 12 gewogs has nominated as many selected candidates. Although Semjong gewog did not have a nominee, Damphu Throm nominated a candidate to take the number to a dozen in the dzongkhag.

Mongar nominated 13 candidates, which is also the highest in terms of selected candidates.

Three out of a total of 130 aspiring candidates who were nominated at the zomdu are out of the race for the NC election.

Dorji Wangchuk, 33, from Bidung gewog in Trashigang, did not get his qualification certificate endorsed by the Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC).

Mon Bdr Rai, 28, from Samtenling gewog of Sarpang, was late to write to the university for authentication of his certificate.

Ugyen Dorji, 34, from Norbugang gewog from Pemagatshel, opted out of the race voluntarily.

MB Subba

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