ELECTION COMMISSION OF BHUTAN
Please refer to the article in The Bhutanese edition “NC candidate’s father to file complaint on political interference in Mongar NC race by DPT party workers” VOL 2 ISSUE 33 WEDNESDAY 01 MAY 2013”.
In this regard, the election Commission of Bhutan would like to state that Monggar National Council Candidate Tshering Wangchen’s father Sangay Wangdi approached the election commission of Bhutan on 3rd of May, 2013 with a complaint.
The Election commission of Bhutan advised him, in writing, that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain his complaint as it was related to the National Council Elections and the Election Period for it had been completed with the declaration of the results on 24th of April 2013.
The Commission suggested him to file his complaint in accordance with Rule 30.1 of the Election Dispute Settlement Rules and Regulations of the Kingdom of Bhutan,2013.
The National Council Election Petition Period of ten working days after the declaration of results i.e. from 24th of April to 8 of May 2013 is over and the Complainant has not filed an Election Petition, indicating the inability to substantiate the allegations and/or see it to its logical and legal conclusion.
Further, the Commission finds it necessary to advise The Bhutanese to exercise due diligence in going public with an election related news article where there is possibility of spreading unwarranted mistrust and disharmony to do so only upon it being satisfied that there is truth in it. You may note that otherwise the paper will be liable to be prosecuted for defamation and misinformation of the people.
Election Commission of Bhutan
Editors Note: The story is based on the irrefutable fact that 35 VPIC cards went missing on poll day as also acknowledged by the ECB. The complainant as mentioned in the story did file a complaint with the ECB but informed the paper later that he had decided to not pursue the case when he was told to approach the court as he had wanted an ECB investigation and not a court case. As per the code of ethics of journalism and ECB’s own media rules all sides were given a fair say and an opportunity to respond in the story. As for the issue of defamation, readers and voters can best decide if the allegations of politics in the NC elections hold water or not.