DPT alleges foul play in the 2013 elections
Supporters of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) have appealed to the DPT president and the fourteen elected candidates not to accept the job of the Opposition Party, until the 15 point petition framed by DPT is fulfilled.
In response, the DPT president Jigmi Y Thinley said, “The people’s decision is important, and so we will not accept the job of the Opposition Party until the right time.”
DPT came up with the 15 two- day meeting of candidates and general members, and has decided to submit the petition to His Majesty the King.
The party members also asked their MPs to resign if their grievances were not addressed.
The 15 point includes corruption, divisive polities, coalition formation parties, foreign policy, involvement of Interim Government, no restriction on media campaign, serious doubts in postal ballots, politicizing of armed forces, politicizing of the local government officials, involvement of NGO, defaming and misuse of the Palace’s name, using of Royal Prerogative by PDP, non participation in debates, free transport and food, and a point on how a DPT supporter’s paddy and electricity were cut off allegedly by PDP supporters.
DPT said that, in terms of corruption. it was with regard to corruption that took place in the 2013 elections. These were in three categories. One was bribery, the second was that PDP had alleged that the DPT government had misused national debt issue, which PDP should prove and other allegations like Sonam Penjor, DPT vice president having a ferro-silicon license.
On divisive polities, DPT alleged PDP brought religion and regionalism into politics. DPT expressed its concern on regionalism saying the country would divide into two, in due course of time, if people think and keep on harping on it. DPT’s media advisor Tenzin Rigden said that people alleging that DPT had undermined His Majesty the King was tantamount to treason and would be taken up seriously by DPT.
On coalition point, DPT alleges that DNT and PDP have combined together to form one party and the Constitution forbids any kind of coalition and is a violation of the Constitution.
DPT said it needs justification from PDP on statements it made on Bhutan’s relationship with the India. DPT alleges PDP had politicized foreign policy by bringing it into the electoral process. One DPT supporter raised questions on why PDP brought up the issue only in the election period. Some of the supporters said that the Indian government is the reason for PDP winning the 2013 election.
The DPT president also said the Interim Government’s main purpose was to ensure free and fair election in 90 days period, and the statement of Dasho Karma Ura violated the spirit. He said that Dasho Karma Ura came to BBS and talked about LPG, Chukha hydro power tariff and on Excise Duty refund.
Supporters felt his statements caused a panic among voters in the election period, and that might be the reason for some voters changing their decision.
On media, DPT accused sections of the media for not playing an important role, especially in the election period, and said that some media houses have accused DPT for their work and ethics. DPT said that balancing both the parties in the media was a major problem, wherein media houses accused DPT more and did not play an apolitical role. DPT also commented on the role of the social media, saying how it influenced the electoral outcome.
DPT has expressed ‘serious doubts’ in ballot stuffing because local representative leaders in some polling station were not allowed to observe the closing of EVM, whereas in some places they were allowed to observe it. DPT supporter feels there was no equity and justice regarding this, and appealed for clarification.
DPT raised question on postal ballots having been sent on behalf of the students, army personals and their wives, and family and discarding and destruction of DPT’s postal ballots.
The DPT president said that politicization of the army is a big concern for the people of Bhutan, and future course of democracy alleging that the country cannot have a ‘PDP Army’. This, the DPT alleged, was involvement of military postal ballot, coercion, forgery, involvement of retired officers ‘all across the nation’.
The DPT also alleged about the politicization of local government (LG) officials saying that local government officials have been openly campaigning for PDP.
DPT said it knows that the involvement of NGO’s are not allowed, but wandered why BCCI played a role in the election process knowing that they are not allowed to do so.
The party alleged on defamation and misuse of the Palace’s name and politicization of the name of His Majesty the King. DPT supporters said they were accused of usurping Royal Prerogatives on army, census, land, etc., while PDP had, in fact, made promises to the army and on census.
DPT and its supporters also raised questions on the PDP Gasa candidate for not participating in election debate which they said is very important.
The DPT alleged that PDP provided free bus, taxi and food for the travelers to vote.
One of the supporters said no action has been taken by ECB even when a PDP candidate didn’t participate in national debate and on PDP arranging bus, taxi and food for travelers travelling for voting.
The final point of DPT states a PDP supporter destroyed paddy field and cut off electricity of a DPT supporter in Gelephu.
In his address, the former PM spoke about the relationship between Bhutan and India and said DPT as a Government did not draw a line between two countries. He added that though the country was small, the respect has been gained equally.
“DPT, as the government for five years, has made great developmental activities and it was possible only through the assistance from Government of India,” said the DPT president. He said that providing a sum of Nu 34 billion for development activities and further request for additional amount being approved is the symbol of good relations that DPT has had with the Indian Government.
He also talked about the Bhutan-China border talks, whereby he said the talks with Chinese government are almost finalized, with only some border disputes left to be discussed.
He compared Bhutan to Nepal and said that he did not want Bhutan to be like Nepal, with a lot of internal civil crisis and strife.
DPT president Jigmi Y Thinley said it is better to appeal to His Majesty the King, as the people didn’t want to appeal to ECB, which is a waste of time, adding “We will appeal to His Majesty the King as you people want.”
In addition, he said only twenty people including old, young, women, and some candidates will appeal to His Majesty the King on behalf the DPT.