Sec­ond LG elec­tion on 27 Septem­ber

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Bhutan (ECB) has called for the sec­ond Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (LG) elec­tions on 27 Septem­ber.

The sec­ond LG elec­tions 2016 were de­ferred by a month in view of the gen­uine con­cerns about the ten­ure of LGs high­lighted by var­i­ous demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the Dzongkhag Tshog­dus and agen­cies re­spon­si­ble for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ments.

The elec­tions in 205 gewogs of the twenty dzongkhags, and Sam­drup Jongkhar Dzongkhag Thromde will be con­ducted in ac­cor­dance with the writ is­sued by the Supreme Court of Bhutan last week. Ac­cord­ing to the ECB, the ten­ure of the LGs had com­pleted on 28 July 2016.

The Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner (CEC), Ch­ogyal Dago Rigdzin, said, “The ECB is con­fi­dent that the sec­ond LG elec­tions will be com­pleted suc­cess­fully and the LGs will be es­tab­lished in the best in­ter­ests of the peo­ple of Bhutan as en­vi­sioned in the Drugi Tsathrim Chenmo [con­sti­tu­tion].”

The Supreme Court’s writ or­dered the ECB to de­fer the elec­tions to the 16 Dzongkhag Thromdes and 20 Yen­lag Thromdes un­til is­sues are re­viewed by a com­mit­tee of le­gal ex­perts. The writ also asked for the re­moval of the post of Thromde Thuemis of Thim­phu, Phuentshol­ing and Gel- ephu.

The Supreme Court has or­dered the abol­ish­ment of the post of thromde thuemi of Sam­drupjongkhar. How­ever, the elec­tion for the post of thrompon and thromde tshogde tshog­pas will be held.

The CEC said that two rounds of E-Roll Ver­i­fi­ca­tion were done right at the chi­wog level in all the 20 dzongkhags.

ECB has car­ried out the prepara­tory ac­tiv­i­ties and has con­ducted train- ing of train­ers for se­nior dzongkhag, dungkhag and gewog of­fi­cials on the elec­tion pro­ce­dures and elec­toral pro­cesses. ECB of­fi­cials said the of­fi­cials have car­ried out two rounds of train­ing right at the chi­wog level.

The com­pre­hen­sive voter ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing pro­gramme, the Bhutan Elec­toral Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Strat­egy

(BEETS) for LG elec­tions, was car­ried out in all the dzongkhags to pre­pare the vot­ers to take part in the elec­tions ef­fec­tively. A par­tic­u­lar fo­cus was given to en­sure that the vot­ers are well aware of their demkhongs where they will be vot­ing or stand­ing as a can­di­date.

An aware­ness pro­gramme for the el­i­gi­ble postal voter and their regis­tra­tion was car­ried out for agen­cies con­cerned. All postal vot­ers are be­ing no­ti­fied and in­formed to take care­ful note of the sched­ule for the LG elec­tion which has been is­sued and to en­sure that their postal bal­lots are marked prop­erly and on time.

The Func­tional Lit­er­acy Test (FLT) cer­tifi­cate is an im­por­tant doc­u­ment to con­test for the LG elec­tions. There­fore, the ECB hav­ing re­ceived many ap­pli­ca­tions for FLT from the dzongkhags for LG elec­tion fa­cil­i­tated the in­ter­ested can­di­dates by con­duct­ing three rounds of FLT for the sec­ond LG elec­tions.

The CEC said, “As the FLT was con­ducted at chi­wog and gewog ba­sis, there has been more than thou­sands of women can­di­dates who were par­tic­i­pated in the FLT for the LG.” he added, “That shows the dou­ble in­ter­est than first LG elec­tions.”

To be able to han­dle and set­tle dis­pute dur­ing the elec­tion pe­riod in a com­pe­tent, just and legally cor­rect man­ner, elec­tion dis­pute set­tle­ment train­ing has been con­ducted for the var­i­ous of­fi­cials of all 20 dzongkhags.

Train­ing has been con­ducted for three batches of re­turn­ing of­fi­cers and na­tional ob­servers who will be vested with the author- ity, roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as per the pro­vi­sions in the elec­toral laws, rules and reg­u­la­tions for the LG elec­tions. The train­ing is ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate proper con­duct of free and fair elec­tions to LG.

The na­tion­wide zom­dus for the se­lec­tion of can­di­dates for the post of gup and mangmi, and Sam­drupjongkhar thromde was started on 10 Au­gust. The elec­tion cam­paigns will be­gin on 3 Septem­ber and con­tinue un­til 25 Septem­ber.

The zomdu were called by the dzongkhag elec­toral author­ity for the pur­pose of se­lect­ing can­di­dates to con­test in the elec­tions.

The ECB urges all vot­ers to par­tic­i­pate ac­tively in the zomdu process in the chi­wog when the nom­i­nee se­lec­tion will take place and to in­deed con­sider it as be­ing an im­por­tant event in the elec­tion process.

The CEC said at the press con­fer­ence that the his­toric sec­ond LG elec­tion 2016 is coin­cid­ing with the three aus­pi­cious na­tional events adding, “The birth year of the sec­ond Bud­dha Guru Pad­masamb­hava, 400th an­niver­sary of the ar­rival of Zhab­drung Ngawang Nam­gyal in Bhutan and the joy­ous birth of His Royal High­ness Prince Jigme Nam­gyel Wangchuck.”

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