123 NC candidates registered to contest in 4th NC Election

Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) so far has registered 123 candidates for the upcoming 4th National Council (NC) Election 2023. Of the total registered candidates, 8 are women. However, the exact percentage of women’s participation will be known only after the Dhamngoi Zomdu is conducted.

ECB is fully prepared to hold the upcoming NC Elections 2023 wherein the ECB is responsible for ensuring that elections are conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.

An official from ECB said that notwithstanding the unprecedented challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous lockdown situations that followed in 2020 through 2021, ECB meticulously planned and successfully conducted the Third Local Government Elections 2021, Thromde Elections in four dzongkhags and four Bye-Elections to National Assembly Demkhongs in four dzongkhags.

However, an officials said that new challenge can emerge in new elections. Therefore, ECB is preparing hard to effectively deal with any new challenge or issue that may arise during the upcoming elections.

ECB also conducts the Experience Learning Program (LEP) after every major election with an objective to learn from the unique and varying experiences of the election officials deputed with various responsibilities, in terms of identifying issues and challenges faced.

Thereby, the suggestions and recommendations for improvement received during the LEP are carefully considered and fed into the conduct of future elections.

Prior to a major election, voter education is conducted in all 20 dzongkhags, an official said, “It is also carried out during the non-election period. Based on the voters’ attendance reports received from the 20 dzongkhags in 2022, a total of 33,225 voters attended the program which included 14,536 males and 18,689 females.”

The ECB Head Office also conducts Training of Trainers (ToT) on civic and voter education in all 20 dzongkhags in which a pool of officials from the Dzongkhag Election Offices, Dzongkhag authorities and Gewog Administrative Officers are being trained.

The content of the voter education is being provided by the ECB Head Office and the teams in the respective dzongkhags, led by the Dzongkhag Election Officers, customise and then conduct voter education for the voters as per the schedules drawn prior to the Voter Education programs, the official further added.

Meanwhile, leading up to the 4th NC Election, the ECB has carried out and will be carrying out various awareness programs and trainings. Seminar for the aspiring candidates for NC, Training on Election Dispute Settlement System and Training of Dzongkhag Election Registration Officers on usage of Bhutan Electoral Management System (BERMS) are some of the trainings provided.

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