ECB gets 170 staff ready for LG elections

As a move to the 2nd Local Government Election, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) began to train 54 observers and returning officers from yesterday.

The rigorous training which began yesterday will go on till the 21st of May and is divided into three groups. Upon the completion of the training the ECB would have trained 170 observers, micro observers, presiding officers, polling officials, returning officers and assistant observers.

Chimi Dorji, the Officiating Director with Department of Civic and Electoral training said, the main objectives of organizing such trainings is for free and fair conduct of elections  and also to make them aware of electoral process, roles and responsibilities and rules and regulations.

It is also to provide them with a legal background of the electoral process, he added.

“Due to the need of more number of observers and returning officers, we have divided and broken them into three groups”, he said.

Phub Dorji, the Chief Election Officer said, the 1st phase of the Local Government election went smoothly but in Gelephu there are still vacant posts for Tshogpas and so the 2nd phase of Local Government Election is more challenging, for it involves more numbers of Dzongkhag Thromdes and Gewogs.

The participants were inculcated with the guidelines, roles and responsibilities of being observers and returning officers and were asked to be cautious in shouldering their duties.

The observers are categorized into three, which comprise of micro, national and the international observers.

The task of observers is not just to observe the election but also to look into the entire electoral process and it is expected that each and every individual be credible and refrain from being partial.

Among many duties and responsibilities of returning officers, a few include issuing a public notice to ensure that the location and contact numbers of their office is widely publicized, publish a list of accepted candidates and receive applications from the eligible postal voters.

One of the foremost things that the returning officers were reminded of is to establish clear understanding with the local post office, so that election related mails addressed to them are handled promptly and properly.

Pema, Senior Returning Officer sharing his experiences said, one of the most hectic thing about the election is the inconveniences caused by the postal ballot.

The second phase of the Local Government Election will be carrying out in between June- July and it will be held in all 205 Gewogs, 16 Dzongkhag Thromdes and in 18 Dzongkhag Yenlag Thromdes.

During that time there will be the post of 16 Thrompons, 16 Thromde Thuemi, 18 Yenlag Thuemi, 205 Gups, 205 Mangmis and 1044 Tshogpas will be up for election.




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