ECB begins its ‘Learning from Experience’ Programme

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has embarked on the post-parliamentary elections review process which is being undertaken in the form of the Learning from Experience Programme (LEP) for the second parliamentary elections. This process follows the completion of the conduct of the elections, the preparations for which began as early as 2012 and completed with the bye-election in the Nanong-Shumar National Assembly Demkhong in November 2013.

The LEP is an important tool of review and learning from the conduct of the second parliamentary elections so that future elections are up to the expected standards and fulfill the needs of Bhutanese democracy. The objectives of the LEP are to learn from lessons and share experiences of the recent elections.

It is also expected to come up with recommendations for improvement of the electoral laws, procedural or administrative adjustments, and provide inputs for development and undertaking of comprehensive voter and civic education programme for enhanced and meaningful participation in future elections.

During the LEP, the commission will hold discussions with key electoral stakeholders, which comprise of the election officials, political parties and candidates, voters, local government functionaries, election security officials, and media who all played very important roles in the conduct of the second parliamentary elections. The LEP discussions called the “Reflections and Sharing Workshops” will be held in over 6 regions with the electoral stakeholders, as well as seek opinions and recommendations through questionnaire surveys.

It is hoped that through the LEP, the ECB will come up with improvements to the electoral system, processes and procedures and to be incorporated in the relevant rules, regulations, guidelines, handbooks and other documents.

Coinciding with the opening of LEP at Punakha Dzongkhag earlier this week, on November 28, the Chief Election Commissioner launched reports of the Forum of Election Management Body of South Asia (FEMBoSA) meeting held in Thimphu in October 2013.

The LEP is being conducted with funding and technical assistance from the UNDP and the government.

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