Sup­port­ing free and fair elec­tion

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

As the date for the third na­tional as­sem­bly par­lia­men­tary elec­tions draws near, it pro­vides an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to ad­vance de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion. In the elec­toral pro­cesses, very cit­i­zen must sup­port for free and fair elec­tions.

For many rea­sons, democ­racy is the most ef­fec­tive ap­proach to pro­duc­ing le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment. There­fore, the re­spon­si­bil­ity for free and fair elec­tions falls on all cit­i­zens al­though some are in bet­ter po­si­tions for pro­mot­ing and main­tain­ing au­then­tic democ­racy.

A coun­try can­not be truly demo­cratic un­til its cit­i­zens have the op­por­tu­nity to choose their rep­re­sen­ta­tives through elec­tions that are free and fair.

The elec­tions also serve to en­cour­age po­lit­i­cal de­bate and public di­a­logue for an elec­tion to be free and fair. The po­lit­i­cal par­ties are given equal op­por­tu­ni­ties to share al­ter­na­tive plat­forms with the public.

Free and fair elec­tions play a cru­cial role in po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tions by ad­vanc­ing de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion, help­ing to pro­mote peace­ful, and demo­cratic po­lit­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion that lead to in­creased sta­bil­ity, pros­per­ity and coun­try's se­cu­rity.

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Bhutan ini­ti­ated fa­cil­i­ta­tion booth to the el­i­gi­ble vot­ers for all el­i­gi­ble vot­ers, re­gard­less of lo­ca­tion, group mem­ber­ship or dis­abil­ity to have rea­son­able and equal op­por­tu­nity to cast their bal­lot.

The elec­tion com­mis­sion is also op­er­at­ing mo­bile fa­cil­i­ta­tion booth ser­vices for prison­ers and peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties to pro­vide equal ac­cess for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and to ex­pe­ri­ence how free and fair elec­tion are be­ing con­ducted.

In the elec­toral pro­cesses, vot­ing is a key com­po­nent of each and to the con­tin­ued faith of the peo­ple in the gov­ern­ment.

In demo­cratic so­ci­eties, ev­ery­body has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to help to en­sure free and fair elec­tions. Vot­ers in demo­cratic so­ci­eties de­serve a process that is easy, safe, and con­fi­den­tial to en­sure without dis­pute in the elec­toral pro­cesses.

In the demo­cratic so­ci­eties, vot­ers should be univer­sal and en­cour­aged. Vot­ers must have ad­e­quate ac­cess to the vot­ing process for free and fare elec­tions. The choices that each voter makes should re­main pri­vate both dur­ing and af­ter the elec­tion to main­tain se­crecy (Sang­wai Tsh­ogyen).

Vot­ers to­day de­mand greater trans­parency in their elec­tions. The elec­tion com­mis­sion have de­vel­oped a tem­plate of char­ac­ter­is­tics that be­lieve are nec­es­sary for elec­tion re­sults to be trusted, free and fair.

We must join the com­mis­sion and com­mit to spread free and fair elec­tions at all times to come for our se­cu­rity and sovereignty.

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