As Bhutan gears up for the second Local Government Elections, those of us who have registered for postal ballots are having a tough time to decide our vote for the right candidate. In the absence of live coverage of the campaigns and public common forums on BBS Television and other mainstream media, it has been difficult for those of us who have been away from our villages for a while to personally know our candidates and understand their commitments for our communities. I am just wondering why the mainstream media are not giving as much importance to the local government elections as they usually give to the parliamentary elections. Since each vote can make a difference, it is important for us to have access to how each candidate in our Gewog/Chiwog is campaigning and what kind of future he/she is promising for our parents, grandparents and relatives in the village. This would also ensure fairer elections since we would be able to choose the right candidate for the right post without having to consult someone in the village.
About a week ago, I received my postal ballots, but to my disappointment, none of the candidates appeared familiar except the incumbent Gup. So I had no option but to call my relatives and seek their views on who could be the better candidate. At last, I had to make the decision although I knew it was influenced by what my relatives told me. I know I am not the only one faced with such a dilemma. Most of my colleagues and friends are also sharing the same experiences.
As a responsible citizen of this great nation, we all have the right to choose the right people who can take us to greater heights. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan guarantees our right to vote and decide the future of this country. So we would have a larger platform to understand the true potentials of each candidate who stands up from our communities to represent us if at least the common forums could be covered live on BBS TV. As civil servants or employees of any other organization, we don’t have the luxury of time to go to our villages to attend the common forums and to interact with our candidates. So I feel if all the developments happening at the local level prior to the elections could be covered on BBS TV or any other mainstream media, it would be very helpful for all of us to make the right decision that could benefit the community and the nation as a whole. However, as we are preparing for the big day on 27th September 2016, I can only hope that all 205 Gewogs get the best candidates who can guide the future of their communities in the right direction for the next five years. I am hopeful that the elections would happen smoothly and we will have the best people in place to represent us in the local government. God bless Drukyul!