DGT files case in High Court against ECB

Druk Gaki Tshogpa (DGT) has filed a case with the High Court against the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) for disqualifying the registration of DGT as a political party.

DGT’s application to the high court says, “According to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Election Commission shall function in accordance with the electoral laws but the Election Commission disqualifying registration of DGT as a political party was not in compliance with the electoral laws. ECB violated electoral laws and thus violated the provision of the Constitution”.

DGT said, “We are not happy with ECB’s decision and therefore filed a case with the High Court. The Article 21 of the Constitution states that every person has the right to approach the courts in matter arising out of the Constitution or other laws subject to section 23 of Article 7”.

DGT submitted an application for registration as a political party with ECB on 9th February, 2018 but on 17th March, ECB issued a public notification on disqualification for registration of DGT as a political party saying it was subjected to due scrutiny and review against the provisions of the Constitution and the electoral laws”.

Chheku Drukpa, the president of the party said, “ECB said that there were no potential candidates for half of the 47 constituencies and ECB also shared concerns on party ideology which is found to be general and nothing is mentioned about how the substantive task of national development is envisioned”.

He said, “There is no law which says this number of candidates is required while registering. The Political Party Rules of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2015 states, while registering, name of registered member from each dzongkhag is required but it is not mentioned elsewhere that this number of candidates is required. More over it is not election commission’s responsibility to determine how potential a candidate is but it is decided by the people’s vote”.

Chheku Drukpa said, “Article 23, Section 1 of the Constitution says, under this Constitution, the general will of the people shall be the basis of government and it shall be expressed through periodic elections”.

He said, “If the matter is not resolved in High court, we shall then appeal to the Supreme Court”.

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