48 hour Blackout period for candidates from Saturday

The blackout period calls for campaigning restriction on all candidates contesting for any kind of Thromde posts. The blackout period will begin from 8 am Saturday or 48 hours ahead of the poll day in the thromdes in Gelephu, Phuentsholing and Thimphu.

January 25 will be declared as public holiday in three Dzongkhag Thromdes of Thimphu, Gelephu and Phuentsholing as voters will go to the polls to vote.

Dzongkhag Electoral Officer, Choni Dorji, said, “According to the law, there is no such problem that will arise during the poll day, but with more number of candidates contesting for the various posts for Thromdes, there are high chances of candidates creating problems.”

He said that numerous complaints and allegations of candidates holding meetings beyond the provided date and time period were reported to the electoral officers in the past.

The Chiwog Zomdu in Babesa was held on December 29.  Around 137 voters turned up for the meeting. So far 7,729 voters have been educated on the election process and the candidates and voters were reminded on the blackout period for a free and fair election.

“For the second phase of the Thromde elections, we have briefed the electoral voters starting from the origin and institution of democracy in our country. The voters were also informed on what qualities the candidates must have in order to fill the vacant post in any post of the Thimphu Thromde,” Choni Dorji added.

The Thimphu Dzongda said, “Any candidate can campaign till 8 am on January 23 and cannot campaign hereafter, even through social media, it is not allowed and cannot also campaign even by an additional minute.”

The blackout period is to help voters to reflect on the various candidates and make up their minds without being swayed by any campaigning.

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