Election Commission of Bhutan-a year-end review

The nation goes to the poll on 22 December for third local government elections

SANGAY RABTEN

Thimphu

Thromde Election

Having completed their terms of office on 26th February, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) notified on 20 January that the Thromde Tshogdes of Thimphu, Phuentshogling and Gelegphu to conduct elections in compliance with health safety protocols and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

In preparation towards the Thromde elections under the prevailing situation, the officials from the ECB collected data from the registered voters of Thimphu, Phuentshogling and Gelegphu Thromde Demkhongs.

The Functional Literacy and Possession of Skills Test for the three Dzongkhag Thromdes of Thimphu, Phuentshogling and Gelegphu were held on 19 February.

Further, the Delimitation Commission of Bhutan issued Delimitation Notification of the 3rd Local Government Elections in 2021 (for the Thromde Tshogdes and the Gewog Tshogdes) on 17 February.

Postal Ballot Registration for Third Thromde Elections in Thimphu, Phuentshogling and Gelegphu was notified on 1 March, while Dhamngoi Zomdu for Three Thromdes Elections were scheduled from 20-25 March.

The Poll Day for Third Thromde Elections was slated on 28 April and the result declared the next day on 29 April.  

The notification for Samdrup Jongkhar Thromde Tshogde was issued on 27 October and polling was held 22 December, on the same day of Gewog Tshogde polls.

Bye-Elections

The Election Commission of Bhutan, issued notification for Bye-Elections to Monggar and Nganglam National Assembly Demkhongs under Monggar and Pema Gatshel Dzongkhags, respectively on 15 May. The Draft Electoral Roll and Draft Postal Voters List was issued on 21 May.

The bye-election was held as Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen representing Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa from Monggar constituency formally stepped down from the post of the home minister and as a Member of Parliament in early May. He was convicted of claiming false vehicle insurance and sentenced to two months in prison. The case is now in the Supreme Court.

Late Choida Jamtsho, the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s Member of Parliament from Nganglam Constituency in Pema Gatshel, passed away in the month of April at Belangdrak in Wangdue Phodrang from probable food poisoning.

The polls were held on 29 June and the results were declared on 30 June. Karma Lhamo of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa was elected as the representative from Monggar National Assembly Demkhong of Monggar Dzongkhag while Karma Dorji of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa was elected as the representative from Nganglam National Assembly Demkhong of Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag.

Third Local Government Elections

The Election Commission of Bhutan issued notification calling for elections for 205 Gewog Tshogdes and 16 Dzongkhag Thromde Ngotshabs on 27 October. Dhamngoi Zomdu (selection procedure) commenced on 3 November and ended on 20 November. The last date for filling nominations and the finalization Electoral Roll and Postal voter list was on 22 November.

Contestants for the different LG posts commenced their campaign on 25 November. The voters of Paper Ballot Facilitation Booth (PGFB) and Mobile Voting Booth (MVB) voted from 11-15 December. The campaign ended on 20 and the polls were held on 22 December.

 11th Meeting Of The Forum Of The Election Management Bodies Of South Asia (FEMBoSA)

Finally, the Election Commission of Bhutan hosted the meeting of the 11th Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) on 11 August 2021 in the Great Fourth Auditorium of the ECB in Thimphu.