Dis­putes in sec­ond LG elec­tions

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

De­spites suc­cess­ful lo­cal gov­ern­ment (LG) elec­tions, the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Bhutan (ECB) en­coun­tered some dis­putes dur­ing the elec­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to ECB, of 330 un­con­tested elec- tions, a to­tal of 12 can­di­dates re­ceived more “No” votes than “Yes” votes. There were a to­tal of 13 cases of tied re­sults where re-poll will be held.

A to­tal of 16 dis­putes which in­cludes five com­plaints re­lated to the zomdu, seven cor­rup­tion charges, four on vi­o­la­tion of the Code of Con­duct and four on el­i­gi­bil­ity of can­di­dates. How­ever, it was de­cided by the Dzongkhag Elec­tion Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Bod­ies, Cen­tral Elec­tion Dis­pute Set­tle­ment Body and the Com­mis­sion.

The 10 sta­tions had some prob­lems with the EVM. Ac­cord­ing to ECB, these were due to hu­man er­ror and mix-up of old and new sets of the EVMs lead­ing to a link­ing er­ror but which could be ad­dressed im­me­di­ately.

How­ever, in one case in Dan­greybu Nga­gang Chi­wog, Do­phuchen Ge­wog of Samtse Dzongkhag the EVM for Mangmi elec­tion had shut down, the 57 vot­ers who had al­ready cast their votes had to be re­called and had to re-cast their votes on the fresh EVM with the poll-

ing hours be­ing ex­tended up to 8pm.

Sim­i­larly, in Atola Chi­wog, Thangrong Ge­wog of Mon­gar Dzongkhag, the EVM for Tshogpa elec­tion could not be read and a re-poll will be con­ducted in the Chi­wog along with the re-poll in the va­cant demkhongs.

The can­di­date con­test­ing elec­tions for the post of Thromde Ngot­shab in Paro had to be dis­qual­i­fied as he had a record of crim­i­nal con­vic­tion.

Seventy-one lo­cal gov­ern­ment demkhongs are va­cant and elec­tions would be called in them soon.

Among 3,391 can­di­dates who con­tested the elec­tions for the var­i­ous posts, 32 can­di­dates were re­jected, seven can­di­da­tures were af­fected by the death of two con­test­ing can­di­dates, two can­cel­la­tions and two were dis­qual­i­fied.

There were no elec­tions in 41 chi­wogs due to lack of can­di­dates to con­test for the post of tshogpa in 17 dzongkhags and for the post of thromde ngot­shab in Gasa, Mon­gar and Pema Gat­shel dzongkhags.

How­ever, be­sides be­ing func­tion­ally lit­er­ate as re­quired un­der the laws, the aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions of the elected can­di­dates bet­ter, which will be im­por­tant to func­tion­ing of the lo­cal gov­ern­ments as the con­sti­tu­tion gives lo­cal lead­ers sig­nif­i­cant pow­ers to im­ple­ment plans for so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Although 150 univer­sity grad­u­ates con­tested the elec­tions, only 40 of them were elected. Four hun­dred ninety-nine high school grad­u­ates, 324 pri­mary school grad­u­ates and 137 non-for­mal ed­u­ca­tion pass-outs con­tested in the sec­ond lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

A to­tal of 1,423 can­di­dates were elected as a gups, mangmi and tshogpa con­sist­ing of 205 gups out of which two are women and 203 men, 203 mang­mis out of which 180 are men and 999 ge­wog tshog­pas out of which 130 are women.

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