Electoral violation may lose political status

As the bypolls for Nganglam and Mongar constituencies are nearing, the Opposition party has alleged that the ruling party is violating the electoral laws. It is also sensed that the party workers are asking to vote for the ruling the party to reap the advantages of power in both the constituencies. 

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) had instructed Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) to remove its campaign video from social media page on Thursday. The party had uploaded the advertisement video without the approval of ECB. The Media Arbitrator then had to enforce the electoral law for violating the electoral law.

The DNT party has breached the 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. This electoral violation may lose political status for the party, individual and a leader.

The Prime Minister and the DNT party President Dr Lotay Thsering was in the video speaking in Sharchop greeting to the people of Nganglam and Mongar constituencies and even sharing pledges.

The 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 Mongar and Nganglam constituencies.

DNT party should be guilty of the violation of electoral code of conduct and disregarding the advisory of ECB Act.

The ECB is a constitutional body to enact law to preserve the purity of election process. The body regulates the conduct of election campaigns in order to protect the integrity of the political process and to ensure effective political debate. Any political party or politician should withstand with the law. Free and fair election and winning honestly are more worthwhile.

All provisions of election laws are mandatory and the purpose of ECB is to carry out free and fair election.  The election laws should be nondiscriminatory and should not cause fraud, and interfere the mind of voters. There can be appropriate freedom of expression but should not mislead the voter’s choice and should not affect a disenfranchisement of the voters.

According to Section 18.1.3: Election Advertising Regulation of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2018, Publishing it 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. And Section 11.32 of Political Party Rules of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2015 it says A Political Party, Candidates and supporters shall not resort to using regionalism, ethnicity, religion and religious personalities to incite voters for political gains.