Bhutanese National Council election, 2007–2008

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National Council elections were held in Bhutan for the first time on 31 December 2007,[1] though they were originally scheduled for 26 December.[2] The new National Council had 25 members, which 20 members were directly elected from 20 dzongkhags by 312,817 eligible voters,[3] and five more were appointed by the Druk Gyalpo. Nominations had to be filed by 27 November 2007, and the campaigning for 15 of the 20 dzongkhags took place from 30 November until 31 December 2007.[4]

The elections were not held in five dzongkhags (Thimphu, Trashiyangtse, Gasa, Haa and Lhuntse) on 31 December 2007 since they either did not have any candidate or had only a single candidate till the last date for filing the nominations and the election rules state that there should be at least two candidates for each dzongkhag, otherwise the election would be postponed for that particular dzongkhag.[5] The elections in these five dzongkhags were held on 29 January 2008.[6]

Election procedure[edit]

In contrast to the National Assembly's 47 party-based members, the National Council members were elected on a party basis and were meant to be eminent people from civil society. The two conditions laid down for the candidature for the National Council of Bhutan were non-affiliation to any political party and the minimum qualification of graduation from a university. The candidates for a particular dzongkhag were selected through the zomdus (meetings) convened in each gewog of that dzongkhag specifically for this purpose.[7]

Candidates[edit]

A total of 43 candidates contested in 15 dzongkhags in the elections were held on 31 December 2007.[8][9] The highest number of candidates were in Samtse, Dagana, Mongar and Paro with four candidates each. Samdrup Jongkhar, Sarpang, Trongsa, Punakha and Trashigang had three candidates each. Chukha, Pemagatsel, Tsirang, Bumthang, Wangduephodrang and Zhemgang had two candidates each.[5]

A total of 48 candidates filed their nominations for this election by 27 November 2007:[5]

Dzongkhag Gewog Candidate
Bumthang Chhoekhor Jigme Palden
Bumthang Ura Tshewang Jurmin
Chukha Bongo Sonam Dorji Wangchuk
Chukha Bjachho Tshewang Lhamo
Chukha Chapcha Thinley Dorji
Dagana Kana Sonam Dorji
Dagana Drujeygang Kesang Dema
Dagana Tshendeygang Mongal Singh Gurung
Dagana Lhamoyzingkha Krishna Bahadur Tamang
Gasa None
Haa Bji Tshering Dorji
Lhuntse Khoma Rinzin Dorji
Mongar Silambi Choki Drakpa
Mongar Saling Naichu
Mongar Chali Pema Tenzin
Mongar Chaskhar Pema Wangdi
Paro Dopshari Ugyen Tshering
Paro Lango Ugyen Tshering
Paro Wangchang Phub Dorji
Paro Lungnyi Jambay
Pema Gatshel Dechenling Sangay Tempa
Pema Gatshel Shumar Jigme Rinzin
Punakha Goen Shari Namgay Penjore
Punakha Kabjisa Sangay Phurba
Punakha Talo Namgay Ratty Dorji
Samdrup Jongkhar Orong Kuenga Dorji
Samdrup Jongkhar Deothang Sangay Lhendup
Samdrup Jongkhar Lauri Jigme Wangchuk
Samtse Dorokha Chhatrapati Phuyel
Samtse Chargaray Mani Kumar Rai
Samtse Bara Lal Bahadur Gurung
Samtse Tendu Bishnu Lal Gurung
Sarpang Gelephu Karma Donnen Wangdi
Sarpang Shompangkha Jamyang Sherub Wangdi
Sarpang Dekiling Dhan Bahadur Mongar
Thimphu Thim Throm Sangay Zam
Trashigang Shongphu Sonam Kuenga
Trashigang Bidung Tashi Tshering
Trashigang Samkhar Ngawang Jamtsho
Trashiyangtse Yalang Kezang Namgyal
Trongsa Nubi Namgay Wangchuk
Trongsa Tangsibji Jagar Dorji
Trongsa Korphu Chimi Dorji
Tsirang Kikorthang Pema Dukpa
Tsirang Phuentenchhu Justin Gurung
Wangduephodrang Nyisho Sonam Yangchen
Wangduephodrang Phangyul Kaka Dawa
Zhemgang Trong Pema Dhendup
Zhemgang Nangkor Pema Lhamo

The candidature of Thinley Dorji from Chapcha gewog of Chukha dzongkhag was cancelled by the Election Commission of Bhutan because of his affiliation to a political party on 7 December 2007.

After an additional nomination period, the candidates for the five dzongkhags which had postponed their elections were as follows:[10]

Dzongkhag Gewog Candidate
Gasa Goenkhatey Sangay Khandu
Haa Bji Tshering Dorji
Lhuentse Khoma Rinzin Dorji
Thimphu  ??? Sangay Tsoki
Thimphu Thim Throm Sangay Zam
Trashiyangtse  ??? Kelzang Wangdi
Trashiyangtse Yalang Kezang Namgyal
Trashiyangtse  ??? Sherub Tenzin
Trashiyangtse  ??? Ugyen Wangdi

Results[edit]

The 15 members of the National Council of Bhutan who were elected on 31 December 2007 were:[11]

Dzongkhag Gewog Winner
Bumthang Ura Tshewang Jurmin
Chukha Bjachho Tshewang Lhamo
Dagana Kana Sonam Dorji
Mongar Saling Naichu
Paro Dopshari Ugyen Tshering
Pema Gatshel Shumar Jigme Rinzin
Punakha Goen Shari Namgay Penjore
Samdrup Jongkhar Lauri Jigme Wangchuk
Samtse Chargaray Mani Kumar Rai
Sarpang Gelephu Karma Donnen Wangdi
Trashigang Shongphu Sonam Kuenga
Trongsa Tangsibji Jagar Dorji
Tsirang Phuentenchhu Justin Gurung
Wangdue Phodrang Nyisho Sonam Yangchen
Zhemgang Nangkor Pema Lhamo

In the remaining five dzongkhags, the following candidates were elected:[10]

Dzongkhag Gewog Winner
Gasa Goenkhatey Sangay Khandu†
Haa Bji Tshering Dorji†
Lhuentse Khoma Rinzin Dorji†
Thimphu Thim Throm Sangay Zam
Trashiyangtse Yalang Kezang Namgyal
† elected unopposed

References[edit]