DNT and DPT will go for general election next month
With the formal declaration of the results of the primary round polls yesterday, the two political parties who secured the highest and second highest votes will go for general election on 18th October next month.
The two political parties Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa ( DNT) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa ( DPT) will go for general election for the 3rd Parliamentary election for national assembly after securing 92,722 votes that accounts to 31.85 percent and 90,020 votes which accounts to 30.92 percent respectively.
While Bhutan KuenNyam Party ( BKP) secured 28,473 votes that accounts to 9.78 percent and People's Democratic Party ( PDP) secured 79,883 votes that accounts to 27.44 percent.
A total of 2, 91, 098 ( 1, 47, 070 females and 1, 44, 028 males) voters casted their votes, 66.36 percent of the total registered voters in the country, turned out and cast their votes for the party of their choice and put their individual signatures on the Poll day which will be recorded in the history of the Nation as the Third Primary Round Polls held under The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Of the total 1, 47, 070 female, a total of 94,566 females casted their votes through electronic voting machine ( EVM) and 87,952 males casted through EVM out of 1,44,028 males.
The press release from the ECB states that, two rounds of Public Debate of the Party Presidents and Vice Presidents were organised. In addition, the Bhutan Broadcasting Service ( BBS) also hosted and aired the Demkhong Dredurs in each of the 47 Demkhongs for the benefit of the general public.
All the Political Parties also conducted separate meetings and door to door campaigns during the election period.
Apart from the meetings called by individual Parties in the Dzongkhags, a total of 479 Common Forums were organized for campaign by all Political Parties, where a total of 40,370 (20,535 female and 19,835 male) voters attended.
A total of Nu.28.200M was provided by the State to all the candidates with Nu.1, 50, 000 per Demkhong per Party for financing the Primary Round Election Campaign. The Parties are also permitted to spend an equivalent amount from their Party coffers, the bank balances having been declared during the filing of the Letter of Intent.
The Polls on 15th of September 2018 were conducted in 865 Polling Stations in the Country on the EVM and the Postal Ballot System included the Conventional Postal Ballot method, Postal Ballot Voting at the 65 Postal Ballot Facilitation Booths and 18 Mobile Booths.
A total of 5,250 Officials, excluding Security Personnel and the permanent officials of the ECB, were deployed for the National Assembly Elections 2018.
The press release also states that the timely adjudication of disputes and addressing of the complaints and allegations as per the laws are key factors that contribute to free and fair elections and ensuring public trust in the integrity of the system and outcomes. All the 11 cases received by the Commission were resolved before Poll Day and the general public duly intimated on the cases and the decisions.
During the Poll Day last Saturday, the press release states that no major problems were encountered in the conduct of the Polls.
However, there were a few cases of those who turned up to vote at the Polling Station but could not vote due to their names being registered as Postal Voters and not on the Polling Station Voter's List although opportunity for claims and objections to the Electoral Roll and Voters Lists had been provided.
Initially, a few Polling Stations encountered “ERROR” reading due to a button remaining in pressed/jammed position. These could be immediately addressed as per the remedy in the EVM Manual. In 5 Polling Stations, they decided to use the spare EVMs with no difficulty or issues encountered in properly counting the ballots cast in the original and the spare EVMs. These were fully witnessed by the Party representatives in the Polling Stations.
While, the EVM at Thangza Polling Station in Lunana Gewog encountered problem around 3pm during the reading of the voter turnout when the display section could not read the numbers and no records were found. It was decided to conduct a re-poll using the spare EVM machine as most of the voters reside in the vicinity. The voters who had cast their votes earlier were called again as new polls began thereafter and the Poll time was extended and the results were declared around 8 pm. This process was witnessed by the Polling Officers, the Security Official, a Candidate and voters there.
There were a few cases where the religious personality status of voters were followed up and confirmed by Head Office against the National Council Electoral Roll and were either facilitated to cast their vote or regretted as they have to revise the status in the census records. As in the past, Voter Photo Identity Cards (VPICs) had to be facilitated for voters who turned up without.
Meanwhile, the press release also stated some of the new features in the 2018 Elections that includes the customized strategy and work plan for each Dzongkhag developed within national framework focusing on voter turnout much before the election year was successfully drawn and implemented in the 20 Dzongkhags; introduction of Postal Ballot Facilitation and Mobile Booths for registered postal voters and number of members in polling team revised and reduced in view of experience gained over time and based on number of voters assigned to a Polling Stations;
Another new features includes development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for key procedures and positions; focus on reaching those who had not been able to vote in the past including aged, disabled etc; streamlining financial and procurement systems for timely and prudent delivery and use of election materials; development of more apps to digitize important procedure including result- relay and consolidation to make it more efficient and errorfree; and purchase of 1000 new EVM to ensure smooth elections.