A plethora of complaints were dished out to the media arbitrator’s office against both PDP and BTP in their run-up to the general
round of elections
The Office of Media Arbitration (OMA), as of January 5 had taken about 26 actions against the two political parties contesting for the Fourth Parliamentary National Assembly General Round Election. The candidates and the party supporters of the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were fined and issued warning for violating the electorate laws.
11 actions were taken by the OMA on the complaints filed against the PDP
A PDP supporter, Dorji alias Chencho Dorji was issued written warning and imposed a fine of Nu 15,000 for repeated sharing of videos and screen recording which contained hate speech and defamatory remarks in various WeChat groups even after continuous reminders and warnings conveyed by the Dzongkhag Social Media Monitor.
In another instance, a complaint was filed on the same date (December 14) against another PDP supporter. Namgay was issued a written warning and imposed a fine of Nu 15000 for spreading false and unsubstantiated information in a WeChat group named “Gangtey Gewog PDP”, whereby he claimed that vote casted can later be traced using CID cards, thus coercing innocent voters to vote for PDP.
Rinchen Zangpo, Adap Chador and Ugyen Dorji were issued written warnings for third party advertising for PDP, while Rinchen Zangpo was warned for hate messages and defamatory remarks against BTP President.
Lemo, Karma and Sigay Dorji were issued written warning defamatory speeches.
14 actions were taken against the BTP
For defamatory remarks and spreading false information, Sangay and Tshering Choden were issued written warnings. Tshewang was issued a written warning and was also imposed a penalty of Nu 15,000 for spreading false information, defaming, and inciting regionalism.
Dechen Peldon, Tshering Dhendup, Sangay Tenzin, Lhendup, Adap Passang, Sonam Yoezer, Ugyen Tshering, Thinley, and Damchoe Wangchuk were issued written warnings for hate messages and defamatory remarks.
Bumpa and Sangay Lhendup were issued written warnings for third party advertising. Adap Passang was also issued a written warning for the same.
BTP’s candidate for Deothang-Gomdar constituency, Tshering Penjor was issued a written warning for campaigning during the no campaign period.
The OMA also issued a written warning to North Thimphu’s candidate, Sonam Penjor and his mother, Phub Zam for sharing manipulated picture on social media group.
Likewise, Sangay Lhendup was issued a written warning and was imposed a fine of Nu 15,000, while Sangay Toenpa Jurchi was issued a written warning for sharing edited videos.
Another individual, Phub Thinley was issued a written warning for sharing videos containing defamatory remarks, hate speech and false information on both the parties.
According to the OMA, a few cases have been forwarded to, and subsequent actions were taken by the ECB. Meanwhile, actions taken by the Dzongkhag Election Dispute Settlement Body are not reported to the OMA.
Sangay Rabten from Thimphu