The Opposition, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), has formally lodged a complaint with the office of the Media Arbitrator against Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) for circulating campaign videos concerning the bye-election of Monggar and Nganglam constituencies.
According to DPT party General Secretary Sangay Phurpa, the DNT party has breached Section 18.1.3 of the Election Advertising Regulation of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2018 and Section 11.32 of the Political Party Rules of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2015.
DPT bye-election candidate of Nganglam constituency Rinchen Pelzang said that the DNT as a party and the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering has violated the electoral law. He said “In video the party President acted as if everything is possible to fulfill in the constituency and as if there is no law above him.”
DPT candidate bye-election candidate for Monggar constituency Dorji Youden shared her understanding that the Prime Minister is trying to use his ruling power for the bye-election. She asks public to be cautious and not to be carried away by the unrealistic pledges made in the video.
As per the Section 18.1.3 it states that Publishing campaign materials in any newspaper, magazine periodical or Social Media, unless the person is authorized to do so by and does so in accordance with the written directions of the Returning Officer.
Section 11.32 states: “A political party, candidates and supporters shall not resort to using regionalism, ethnicity, religion and religious personalities to incite voters for political gains.”
The campaign videos were uploaded on social media platforms (Facebook) on 1 June. After reviewing the complaint, the Media Arbitrator has then asked the party to remove the videos on Wednesday.
The Media Arbitrator for the bye-election, Jigme Wangchuk, said that as of now DNT has removed the videos.
Meanwhile DNT party General Secretary Phurba said the video was uploaded without approval from ECB and now the party is seeking approval to circulate the videos officially.