Bhutan’s 3rd National Council polls on April 20

Bhutan’s 3rd National Council polls on April 20

SAM Staff,

Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) announced the date to put the election process in motion in obedience to the Royal Decree issued on February 15, calling elections in pursuance of Section 191 of the Election Act.

Speaking on national television, Chief Election Commissioner Chogyal Dago Rigdzin said the election would be conducted as per the electoral laws.

Unlike in the 2013 elections, the incumbent members who wish to re-contest can do so without resigning. Parliament made this possible by amending the NC Act of 2008 in 2014.

This amendment was made to ensure NC’s status as a continuous house.

“An incumbent member wishing to contest the elections shall not be required to resign,” the ECB stated, citing Section 15A and 22A of the NC Act 2014.  However, the ECB added that candidates and their representative will be prohibited from using their title, designation, rank, kabney or rachu, pata or geyntag, or any other sign, insignia or symbol of an office held earlier.

According to the ECB, those born on or before March 19, 1993 and on or after March 19, 1953 shall be deemed to meet the legal age requirement for candidates.

Voters whose census is registered in a constituency on or before December 31, 2016 will meet the durational requirement to be a voter or candidate from that constituency.

Door-to-door campaign will be allowed only between 6am and 6pm.