Disputes in second LG elections
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.