A warning to former DPT MP for bribery is not tantamount to laws violated, PDP Coordinator

Dissatisfied with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) serving a warning to the DPT’s Jomotshangkha–Martshala candidate for supposedly bribing voters during the recent elections, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) coordinator of Serthi and Lauri gewog said they want to take the matter further to its logical conclusion.

A  ‘last warning’ is not tantamount to the violation of Electoral Laws by the former DPT Jomotshangkha–Martshala MP Norbu Wangzom, who is also currently the party candidate for 2013 elections, said the PDP coordinator Ten Dorji.

This is a follow-up to the written complaint lodged on May 11 to the Jomotshangkha-Martshala returning officer (RO), in which the PDP coordinator Ten Dorji accused that the DPT candidate of the constituency had bribed some voters by distributing free clothes.

This time, he said, they will furnish all evidences required to prove that DPT has been genuinely involved in election wrongdoings.

“We have pictures, and other digital materials of the party’s representatives giving clothes to five households,” he said, adding that the clothes were freely distributed to voters of Barkalangnang and Monmola village under the gewog.

In a telephone interview with this paper, Ten Dorji said, “We have recorded and taken pictures in the cell phones, a confirmation that bribery has been done.” He added that the DPT candidate brought two sacks of clothes for free distribution.

He said that the DPT MP getting only a simple last warning from authorities was not enough. Given the seriousness of the case, it deserved more serious action, said the PDP coordinator.  He said the light penalization is not in keeping with laws, especially when the DPT MP has violated the Electoral Laws. He added that even the recipients of the clothes have confirmed that they received the bribes from the DPT Tshogpas. “What more evidence is needed,” said Ten Dorji.

He also added that such light warnings served by the ECB will not be a deterrent for parties to break the Electoral Laws.

“This is a serious political corruption,” he said. He also said someone who has violated a law is left to go scot-free with small warnings, and this will only trigger and encourage others to engage in similar activities. He said Electoral Law is supreme and must be respected at all times.

Norbu Wangzom, however, has refuted such allegations. She claimed that the clothes were sent by the civil servants in Thimphu. The PDP coordinator, on the contrary, asked why it has been distributed selectively to voters of Serthi gewog only.  “Most farmers in other gewogs are also poor and in need of such favors,” he said.

Further, Ten Dorji said if it was not to gain political advantage illegally, she could have distributed the clothes through gewog authorities. “That way, beneficiary could be decided on impartial basis rather than on party alignment,” he added.

“What is it, if not corruption?” he asked.

According to him, the DPT candidate’s claims that it was done in ignorance, not being aware that it might be in conflict of interest cannot be believed, as she should be well-versed with all laws as an MP who has served five-year tenure in the Parliament, during which time, the Constitution was adopted, Anti-Corruption and several other acts and rules were tabled in Parliament.

Another PDP Tshogpa, Gom Tshering said, he is also aware of such bribery accusations on DPT. He said the proof of the allegations is recorded in his mobile phone since it is serious violation of the Electoral Laws. He didn’t rule out the fact, that beside this particular case, DPT was also involved in different bribery cases. “I kept the record of what I’ve seen,” said Gom Tshering.

According to the letter duly signed by the voters (recipient of clothes), Norbu Wangzom has given six children’s shirts, one half kira, two tegos, and a pair of jeans to the voters.

Meanwhile, the DPT Jomotshangkha-Martshala constituency candidate Norbu Wangzom said that the matter was solved and she has nothing new to comment on the matter.

“The clothes distributed are all old clothes,” she added.

The ECB’s legal officer Cheki Drakpa said as of now they don’t have the authority to comment over the matter.

 

 

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15 comments

  1. The excuse is horrible. Not well-versed in the laws as 5 year tenure MPs? Well isn’t she competing for a similar post? It is not only the job but an important requirement for all current MPs as well as aspiring MPS to be well versed with the laws of the country and especially the election laws during an election period.You have to study and be well-versed before jumping onto the podium madam dear. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse to break it. Old clothes or new clothes donot matter. A bribe is a bribe. Honestly, no hard feelings towards these MPs but our MPs need to be tested in their IQS , Law Knowledge, history and all necessary theoretical knowledge before being allowed to even participate

    • ya they need to be tested. this is not a job to look for! they seem to be taking such a responsibility lightly. Who bribes? only those who think they are not winning!m  she must be the one. shame on you.

  2. this is serious matter and ECB must dealt with it accordingly or more corruption will happen. DPT MP saying she just made mistake is not enough. They have become desperate and they will do anything to win. According to the news there were 2 sacks of clothes. Where are the remaining clothes? Also some says the clothes were sent by a sweeper working in the Finance Minstry, meant to be distributed in lauri gewog, but it was distributed in another gewog, Serthi. Why? I think the matter need further investigations and taken to a logical conclusion.

  3. ECB should not take such matter lightly. they must take serious action for serious mistake especially by MPs who are suppose to make laws and not law breaker.

  4. shame on MP NORBU wANGZOM for such horrible act. how you be a good MP when you failed to observe even simple basic law. this is an act of corruption. ECB pl take serious action la.

  5. DPT is party of drangdhen, but in practice they are doing just the opposite. It seems JYT has no control over his own MPs. they are engagged in act of corruption. how can such MP serve our people and the Nation? It is questionable on ECBs action also as to why she was left with just a simple warning. Very sad happenings. Where is zero tolerance to corruption in Bhutan

  6. this is an indication of a party becoming desperate to win by hook or crook. they have no scruples as politician. So much for Drangden! Shame on Norbu Wangzom,.

  7. this shows the quality of the MP as a leader. will such people benefit us? people of that area must vote her out.

  8. desperate time and desperate measures. shame on the MP of Jomotshangkha

  9. this is not a good example by ex MP. they are law makers and not law breakers! such action must be nipped in the bud or we are encouraging corruption indirectly by taking a mild action. Zero tolerance must be maintained at all cost by ECB or corruption will become rampant…..

  10. PDP but now DPT

    This is not even a bribe.. think logically!

    • what do you mean?

      • He means that it was not a case of Bribery, PDP but now DPT please write things clearly in future ok.

        • For DPT it is not bribery, for others it is. They are used to such practices like huge land scams where they lost two of its Minsters. So distributing few sacks of cloths during campaign period is nothing for them! I understand.

  11. I think people are not aware of White Pegoen Courier service …

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