Dangchu gup by-election on 6 March
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has notified that the by-election for Dangchu Gup in Wangdue Dzongkhag will be held on 6 March to fill the vacant post.
The Dangchu Gewog Gup post was rendered vacant when the former gup, Sonam Dorji, resigned in November, soon after the second Local Government (LG) election to pursue higher studies in Australia.
The zomdu will be called by the Dzongkhag electoral office for the purpose of selecting candidates to contest in the elections.
Zomdus in each chiwog for the selection of candidates will be called on 14 February by the dzongkhag electoral office to ensure that no more than two candidates from each chiwog contest in the byelection.
Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be provided to the chiwog zomdu.
A registered voter who is born after 14 February 1952 and before 14 February 1992 will be deemed to meet the maximum age requirement of 65 years for nomination to be a candidate for the by-election.
The candidates will have 16-days for election campaigns until 48 hours before the poll day. The candidates cannot exceed campaign expenditure of more than Nu.50,000 in line with the section 59 of the Public Election Fund Act 2008.
The ECB also stated that the withdrawal of candida- ture, recipient of application for postal ballot and returning officer (RO) to initiate sending postal ballot to register postal voters will be closed on 17 February.
However, if there is no candidate after the last day for filling nomination of candidates, the election will be postponed until further notice. If there is only one candidate after the last date of filing of nomination, an uncontested election will be conducted.
ECB has notified that the RO in consultation with the respective election coordinator and security coordinator will arrange a common forum in chiwogs and further in the village if found necessary and feasible to provide.
The dzongkhag elec- tion office will continue to distribute the voter photo identity card (VPIC) to those who were unable to collect it earlier even up to the poll day.
The ministers, MPs, officials, the member of political parties and other elected LG leaders are not allowed to campaign directly or indirectly for any candidate.
Besides, the official tours and trips undertaken by ministers and MPs to different constituencies are restricted during the election period except to cast votes on the poll day if they wish to vote.
The Bhutanese citizens who are not younger than 18 years of age will be deemed to meet the minimum age requirement to be a voter.
No one is allowed to carry any arm or weapon, audio, photo, video and recording device in and around a polling station on the poll day except those who are authorized.
The poll day will be declared as a public holiday in the constituency concerned and all employers are required by law to grant required number of days as election leave for any registered voters from the demkhong who wish to vote in person.
The cost of conducting by-election for Dangchu gup is about Nu.0.24million.
The Dangchu Gewog consists of five chiwogs. EVMs will be used for polling in all the polling stations. The voting hours start from 9-am and ends at 5-pm.