In the wake of unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in the region and the high risk of transmission, all gatherings and celebrations for the elected Thromde representatives for Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelegphu is prohibited until such time the situation improves.
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) made this statement as is required under Section 457 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008, the results of the Thromde Elections held on 28 April for the three Dzongkhag Thromdes of Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelegphu.
According to the section 457 of the Election Act, 2008, the Election Commission shall, after the declaration of results of elections from all constituencies of a Local Government, declare by notification the names of the winning candidates from each of the constituencies concerned.
The press release from the ECB states that out of the total of 35, 26 were male and nine were female candidates who contested for the elections. A total of 20, comprising of 17 male and three female, were successfully elected during the recent Thromde elections.
Meanwhile, the overall voter turnout was 6,281 which comprised of 2,902 male and 3,379 female accounting to 59.46 percent out of the 10,564 registered for the recent election.
Of the total number of votes cast 4,428 comprises of 1,985 male and 2,443 female voted through electronic voting machine (EVM) votes while 1,853 comprises of 917 male and 936 female casted through postal votes.
The press release states that the Thromde Tshogpa of Motithang demkhong under Thimphu Thromde and Trashiling demkhong under Gelegphu Thromde will remain vacant.
Although the aspiring candidates of these demkhongs had submitted their nominations, the ECB could not accept their nominations as they were found to be registered members of political parties. The Election Act does not allow an aspiring candidate to contest the Local Government election if he/she is a member of a political party.
Section 206 of Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008 states that no person shall, notwithstanding anything contained in section 205, be nominated as a candidate for election to fill a seat in the National Council or Local Government if he/she belongs to any political party.
Additionally, section 205 of the Election Act states any person may, if he/she is qualified under the provisions of the Constitution and this Act, be nominated as a candidate for election to fill a seat in the National Assembly, National Council, or a Local Government.
Meanwhile, recognizing the gravity of the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown situation, elections in Phuentsholing Thromde was facilitated through Mobile Voting Booth for voters residing, both within the thromde and outside the thromde on 24 and 25April.
“Upon issue of this Notification, the Thromde Tshogde shall be deemed to have been duly constituted under Section 458 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008,” ECB stated.
ECB said the general public and all stakeholders may note that the Election petition period of ten working days for this Thromde elections starts from 29 April until 12 May at 5 pm.
Meanwhile, the ECB congratulated all the elected candidates of the Third Thromde elections, 2021.