As Bhutan heads to the polls for another time to put in place a new Parliament, starting with the National Council election today, the persistent rainfall for the last few days could dissuade some voters from making their votes count.
Despite being “election ready”, the Election Commission of Bhutan’s chief election commissioner, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, said he was worried about the weather.
“We’re expecting a good voter turnout, but rain might deter people from voting in some [... Read More]
White out: While it was pouring in some parts of the country, Merak received heavy snowfall on the eve of the council election.
Whether Lunana voters in Gasa will go to the polls today, along with the rest of the country, will be determined by the success of today’s attempt to fly in the election officials and machinery.
This time, a private chopper from Dharma Adventures, based in Nepal, will try to fly in the three election officials and four electronic voting machines.
Starting April 18, bad weather had led to several unsuccessful attempts to fly them to Lunana, one [... Read More]
Election officials in Mongar will start counting the postal ballots that came in from voters across the country around 1pm today.
They will finish counting by 5pm, when the poll hour ends.
Yesterday, by 5pm, the dzongkhag had received 2,724 postal ballots. However, in segregating the postal ballot envelopes, 356 ballots were found invalid.
While around 192 envelopes were deprived of the mandatory identity declaration certificate, 48 had not specified their voter card number, 38 had wrong voter [... Read More]
Cut of since 1994: The village of 38 people are happy still
Despite an arrangement to pay them a daily allowance when they go to cast their vote, the 18 voters of Eusana, the remotest settlement in Gasa, have opted not to go to the poll today.
When election officials visited the village recently, while on their way to Lunana in a chopper, villagers informed them that they could not make it to their assigned polling station as the mountain passes are completely blocked by snow at this [... Read More]
Phuentsholing throm and the bordering Indian town of Jaigaon yesterday woke up to eerily quiet streets, with only a few vehicles cruising easily through the town area that is normally congested with traffic.
Most of the stores and businesses, excluding the fast food chains, had their metal shutters down. In the few businesses that were open, owners were at work, with employees gone to vote.
Areas that showed some signs of human activity were the schools and [... Read More]
Despite the rainy weather over the past few days, election officials in the western dzongkhags of Wangduephodrang and Punakha dzongkhag remain optimistic of a good voter turnout.
They were hopeful, dzongkhag election officials said, as voters in the two districts need not walk much to cast their votes, like in some parts of the country, with all polling stations located near villages.
The furthest polling stations in Punakha are in Yorbo and Zhelgosa villages, which are an [... Read More]
Weather, it seems, could be a big factor in determining voter turn out and how candidates for the National Council will be elected.
To candidates in particular, who cannot disregard the possibility where candidates’ polling numbers are really close and every vote would count, the weather is certainly a big factor.
The council election is today and the last few days of rain across the country and snow in the northern parts have dampened the spirits of [... Read More]
Polling officials on election duty board a truck in Tsirang yesterday
With polling officials and security personnel already planted at their respective 42 polling stations of the dzongkhag’s twelve gewogs, Tsirang is all set for the election today, at least in terms of logistics.
All 152 polling officials and security personnel hitched a ride on government vehicles and some hired private ones to their designated stations.
Tongshing under Phuentenchhu gewog and Semdhenjong under Sergithang gewogs, which are three-hour walk from the gewog centre are the farthest polling stations [... Read More]
By Nirmala Pokhrel, Pemagatshel
It took three heavy machines three hours to clear the block of massive boulders that almost pushed a jeep off the road
It took three heavy machineries, excavators and bulldozer, almost three hours to clear this year’s first and major roadblock on the eastern highway yesterday.
The road block stranded more than 200 vehicles for about six hours between Narphung and Shegpasing, 52km away from Samdrupjongkhar.
About 10-metre of the road that was being widended, was buried under [... Read More]
Off to vote: Dema’s family ready to go to Tshanglajong
“Atoro bugeymey dani (what do we do)?” exclaimed Ap Tawla, a 45-year-old shopper in Zhemgang, raindrops dripping from his face.
He had waited for some time for the rain to stop, which had the small township of Zhemgang drenched since morning.
Tawla needs to reach Kikhar to vote for his candidate tomorrow. The polling station in Kikhar is about 27km from Zhemgang. It is a 15km smooth ride over paved road until Dakpai and another 12km of [... Read More]