The poll day has been scheduled on April 18, 2022
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has announced the re-elections in Local Government Demkhongs, where the highest number of votes secured were equal (tied).
The third LG elections was held on December 22, 2021 in 205 gewogs, 1,044 chiwogs and 14 Dzongkhag Thromdes and the Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag thromde, where 3,521 candidates participated for 1,475 various posts.
However, nine Tshogpa Demkhongs under five Dzongkhag in Gasa, Punakha, Sarpang, Trongsa and Wangduephodrang witnessed a tie or equal number of highest votes secured for the post of Tshogpa Demkhong, compelling the ECB to conduct the re-election.
The nine gewogs are Khatoed and Lunana in Gasa, Goenshari and Toedwang in Punakha, Jigme Chhoeling, Serzhong and Tareythang in Sarpang, Korphu in Trongsa and Gasa Tshowogm in Wangduephodrang.
ECB, therefore, calls for re-election in the above nine Tshogpa Demkhongs as per section 463 of the Election Act of Kingdom of Bhutan 2008.
Section 463 of the Election Act of Kingdom of Bhutan states that the Election Commission shall, if the highest or second highest numbers of votes are secured by two or more candidates or parties in equal numbers on the completion of counting of votes, order for re-election between candidates or parties securing equal number of votes.
The ECB’s notification calling the re-elections also stated that the election campaign expense incurred for the third LG election 2021 will not form a part of the election campaign expense for the re-elections.
Further, the notification states that the postal voters register for conventional postal ballot, Paper Ballot Facilitation Booth (PBFB) and Mobile Voting Booth (MVB) will have an option either to vote through conventional postal ballot or Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the respective polling station. However, an elected local government functionary shall not participate directly or indirectly to cast his or her ballot in the re-elections.
The election campaign by the respective participants can commence on April 4 and will end by April 16. A candidate will get 12 days for campaigning and he/she should stop campaigning two days before the poll day.
It is also notified that the ECB will start the operation of sending postal ballots to registered postal voters on April 3.
Meanwhile, the ECB recorded an increase in the number of candidates running in the 2021 LG elections compared to the second LG elections of 2016.
Tshering Pelden from Thimphu