Dorji Khandu, the first parliament member from Laya
- June 9th, 2018
- 1,144 views
June 9, 2018
When Gasa elected 33-year-old Dorji Khandu as its National Council representative in April, the country got its first member of parliament from Lungo, Laya.
The closely contested election made him the first resident of the highland community of Laya to enter the Parliament.
“Laya gewog or the people of Goen were the first Bhutanese to welcome Zhabdrung, the founder of our nation. I take high inspiration and significance as the first person from Laya to represent them in the Parliament,” said Dorji Khandu.
He said the community had no qualified persons participating and winning the election before. “They did not know the pride and feeling of having someone from their own community representing them. It was a different feeling for them too,” he said. “There is a need to understand their issues and situation while representing them.”
Born and brought up in Gasa, Dorji Khandu completed his primary education from Gasa and secondary education from Punakha in 2007. He completed a degree in civil engineering from Rangsit University, Thailand through Trongsa Penlop Scholarship in 2012.
Dorji Khandu is also the first recipient of Trongsa Penlop Scholarship to win an election. He was among the first batch of nine students to receive the scholarship to study engineering in Thailand.
“Before leaving for studies in Thailand, His Majesty The King shared his aspirations and hope with the scholarship recipients. I always wished to repay my gratitude of being an award recipient. I aspired to work in the place where my work will make a greater impact to the nation,” said Dorji Khandu. “My work as policy maker would have a nationwide impact.”
MP Dorji Khandu along with four other MPs will work as members of the Natural Resource and Environment Committee in National Council.
The NC representative claimed that his experience in engineering would help him monitor and assist construction developments in the dzongkhag and other issues involved in the construction sector.
While looking forward to serving as the NC representative, supporting Good to Great Gasa initiative through national level policy intervention, issues related to cordyceps collection, preserving unique culture and tradition of the dzongkhag, and contributing towards improving the living standards of highland communities in the country are his priority.
Until the legalization of cordyceps collection in 2004, only a few parents could afford to send their children to school in Laya. He said that after the legalization of cordyceps collection, those in school dropped schooling, which led to having less qualified people in the community.
Considering the remote location of the gewogs in Gasa, Dorji Khandu hopes to visit the four gewogs of Gasa twice a year to share with the people, the resolutions, and policy reviews made in the house and collect the views of people.
The NC representative said that being the first MP from the Laya would not only encourage and inspire children and parents of the community to study and educate but also encourage other highland communities in the country.
“I hope I would be able to inspire them to study,” he said. “Parents would also have a reference to encourage their children to pursue higher education. ”
Gasa Elects Dorji Khandu
- May 15th, 2018
- 1,135 views
April 21, 2018
Dorji Khandu from Laya, Gasa won the Third Parliamentary Election to National Council after securing 547 of which 532 votes came through EVM and 15 votes via the Postal Ballot. The result was officially declared on April 20.
The two other NC candidates from Gasa, Phurb Dorji secured 528 votes and Kinley Dorji managed to get 436 votes.
On winning the election, Dorji Khandu said, “I can’t really say that I am happy that I won the election, but in fact, I am worried about how I can fulfill people’s aspiration and needs as promised.” He is, however, confident that he will be the one to bring in positive changes in the dzongkhag.
“People voted for me because as I am from Laya, I travel frequently to Laya and Lunana, interact and communicate with people, and most importantly people trust me. And after seeing my performance during the debate, people believed that I can be a capable leader,” Dorji Khandu said.
He said he intends to support the youth of Gasa through employment opportunities and scholarships programs, adding, “I have the firm conviction and commitment to serve them with the best of my abilities. Therefore, I will make sure whatever polices and laws passed, it will be in line with their issues and address their problems.”
He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Thailand. He is a recipient of South Asia Foundation Scholarship and holds a Master’s in Engineering and Management from Sri Lanka.
He has worked as a RJ (Dzongkha) with Kuzoo FM Radio. Other work experience includes his post as a project engineer in various construction companies, a founder and engineer of Dragon Engineering and Construction and is also the founder and CEO of Dragon Herbs Bhutan.
Dorji Khandu wins in Gasa
- May 15th, 2018
- 1,068 views
April 21, 2018
If postal ballot made the difference in many dzongkhags, it was not the case in Gasa.
Despite getting only 15 postal ballots, Laya’s candidate Dorji Khandu won the election from Gasa beating Dr Phurb Dorji and Kinley Dorji.
Dorji Khandu won 532 votes out of the 1,333 cast at 11 polling stations in the northern most dzongkhag. Dr Phurb Dorji won the highest postal ballot votes of 116 from 178 total postal ballot votes.
The council elect claimed that he was confident to win from Laya and Lunana gewogs where the majority of voters were concentrated. “I was with the people and I know their issues, the problems concerning people of Gasa.”
He added that his experience of campaigning in 2013 as Khatoed-Laya candidate helped him while campaigning for the council. “I could win the peoples’ trust this time. Public debate helped gain voters’ confidence in me,” he said.
With light shower in the morning in Gasa, the polling stations received good voter turnout only towards the afternoon. Of the total 2,000 voters, 1,511 turned up to vote. Three postal ballots got rejected.
Kinley Dorji secured 436 votes, of which 389 were from EVM and 47 from the postal ballot.
Following poor voter turnout at the telephonic common forum held in Lunana gewog last week, the gewog received less than 50 percent of voter turnout on poll day too.
“I will serve them with the best of my ability and strongly work towards strengthening Good to Great Gasa initiatives, which I feel would benefit the people with community-based business opportunities,” the council-elect said.
Know Your NC Candidate: Gasa
- May 15th, 2018
- 1,160 views
March 23, 2018
Age: 33 years
Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Thailand
Master of Engineering (Civil/WREM), Sri Lanka
Worked as RJ (Dzongkha) with Kuzoo FM Radio, Thimphu.
Worked as Project Engineer
Founder and CEO at Dragon Herbs Bhutan.
Why should the people vote for you?
Born and raised in highlands, I have endured the hardship and life of highlanders since my childhood.Therefore, I will make sure whatever policies and laws passed will be in line with their issues and problems.
I have firm conviction and commitment to serve them with the best of my abilities and always support “Good to Great Gasa” initiatives.
I have dreams to support youth of Gasa through employment scheme and scholarships programmes, serve people of Gasa with obedience and humility.
Proven experiences in the field of engineering and entrepreneurship, I am qualified and experienced. I have a good exposure abroad. I am humble, young, energetic, intelligent, talented, creative, farsighted and optimistic.
Gasa nominates three NC candidates
- May 15th, 2018
- 1,006 views
March 14, 2018
Gasa, the largest and least populated dzongkhag, has three candidates for the NC seat.
Khatoed gewog had the highest number of aspiring candidates although the gewog has only 318 registered voters.
Gasa’s Sangay Khandu, the incumbent, lost to Dr Phurb Dorji. He secured about 27 percent of the 237 votes. The third aspirant from the gewog, Tenzin Namgay secured 18 percent of the total vote.
Dr Phurb Dorji won with 127 votes.
Khatoed gewog also saw the highest voter turnout among the four gewogs. More than 70 percent of the total voters came to vote on March 5.
Khamed gewog’s nominee is Kinley Dorji, former Khamed-Lunana candidate of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa. He got 163 ‘yes’ votes.
Laya nominated Dorji Khandu as the gewog’s NC candidates with 295 ‘yes’ votes.
Of the four gewogs in Gasa, Laya has the highest registered voters – 600 – followed by Lunana with about 500 voters and Khamed with 497.
Lunana gewog had no NC candidate.
The nomination meeting for the dzongkhag ended on March 12.
Gasa’s public debate is slated for April 8.
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