Bhutan: ECB prepares for 2018 elections

Bhutan: ECB prepares for 2018 elections

SAM Staff,

The two newly formed political parties, Druk Gaki Tshogpa and Druk Kuenphen Tshogpa, are yet to register with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

According to ECB, the promoters of the political parties are in the process of carrying out preparatory work such as mobilising members and support.

Citing Rule 3.3 of the Political Parties Rules and Regulations 2015, ECB clarified that an applicant party will enjoy the rights and privileges of a political party under the Constitution only after it is registered and notified so by the Registrar of political parties. Once a party obtains its registration certificate, the party, its candidates and supporters, are obliged to follow the Code of Conduct as laid down in the Election Act and the political party rules and regulations.

ECB also made clear that media cannot promote the cause of a political party in their reporting. “If you [the media] would like to inform the readers, you may do so, but without promoting the cause of a particular party,” ECB said.

The founder of the Gaki Tshogpa, Cheku Dukpa, said the party would finalise its manifesto soon. “We are hoping to register our party by the end of the month. We are looking for members from each gewog, not just from the dzongkhags,” he said.

Cheku Dukpa said that in terms of support and membership, his party is on a sound footing. “We intend to change the landscape of politics. We are going to offer much excitement in the near future.”

Cheku Dukpa, who has met ECB officials twice to seek advice on the party registration process, said: “We will hold our first party convention soon.” A party elects its office bearers, including its president, at a convention.

The Kuenphen Tshogpa’s promoter, Jigme Drukpa, said that his party held its first convention in June. He was elected president of the party. The party has its head office in Thimphu.