Mongar National Council candidate Tshering Wangchen’s father Sangay Wangdi will be officially filing a complaint of political interference by Mongar’s DPT coordinators and party workers in the Mongar NC elections with the Election Commission of Bhutan within the next two days.
Sangay Wangdi who is also a former Royal Advisory Council member said, “I would like the ECB to investigate the role of Dzongkhag level DPT coordinators and party workers in influencing the outcome of the National Council elections in Mongar.”
The main issue that Sangay Wangdi highlighted is that the 35 missing VPIC cards belonged to the people of Khalong Chiwog who had actually nominated his son Tshering Wangchen and all the people involved around the missing VPIC cards were DPT party workers or those related to them.
He said the 35 VPIC cards had been delivered by ECB officials to Narang Gewog only on 20th April and those cards were handed over on 22nd April just before the Election Day of 23rd April.
He said the cards had been given by the tshogpa to DPT party worker Pema Jigme to deliver to the 35 people. Pema Jigme had claimed that the VPIC cards were lost on the day of polling on 23rd April.
“After the police got involved his neighbor Yeshey had confessed to the cards being with him,” said Sangay Wangdi.
Sangay Wangdi pointed out that the Yeshey was the relative of a former DPT MP from Mongar.
He said, “It is extremely surprising and suspicious that the VPIC cards go missing on the poll day and are only recovered in the evening after the polling is over.”
He said that the ECB should do a thorough investigation on the issue and find out how and why the cards really went missing.
Sangay also said that the ECB should also find out if similar instances had taken place in other parts of Mongar where the VPICs of voters were not handed out in time.
“After getting the information on missing VPIC cards I started suspecting that some miscreants are not allowing innocent voters to vote according to their choice thereby disturbing the election results and not allowing for free and fair elections,” said Sangay Wangdi.
Sangay Wangdi alleged that DPT party workers in Mongar Dzongkhag had gone all out to ensure that his son lost. He also pointed out that the winning NC candidate from Mongar Sonam Wangchuk was the nephew of the DPT Dzongkhag Coordinator Dorji Leki. He said this Dzongkhag DPT coordinator was also related to the same incumbent DPT MP whose relative was found with the VPIC cards.
He, however, clarified that his grouse was with the Dzongkhag level DPT party workers and not the senior DPT leadership in Thimphu.
He said, “I have a lot of respect for DPT’s senior leaders like former Lyonchhen Jigme Y Thinley, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba and Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk who have served the country for many years but if some of these party workers at the grass root level are not uprooted then even they could be negatively affected.”
He said the ECB should investigate the role of DPT dzongkhag coordinator and party workers of Mongar in the NC elections.
He said he heard that false rumors linking him and his family to another party had been spread by DPT party workers.
Meanwhile the DPT Secretary General Thinley Jamtsho said that he was not aware of the issue at hand so he would not want to comment.
The winning NC candidate from Mongar Sonam Wangchuk (25) said, “While it is true that the DPT Dzongkhag coordinator is my uncle we are not very close and he has not given me any support. Our only interaction was limited to when I printed some of my visiting cards in his shop to help his Photostat business for which I have already paid all the bills.”
He said that whichever party his uncle belonged to his uncle had a right to vote for whoever he chose. He also said that if he had any political affiliation then the ECB would never have allowed him to contest.
Sonam Wangchuk said that he was just a college graduate and he had only come to know his uncle was a DPT party coordinator recently. He became the youngest NC candidate to be elected to the NC after winning with 4,821 votes defeating the incumbent Naichu who got 4,484 votes and former Vice Principal Tshering Wangchen who got 3,338 votes.
The Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said, “The complainant has till 8th may to file a NC election petition which has to be filed to a district court. We will then take actions based on the instructions of the court.” He said the complainant would be given an election petition handbook to guide him.
Tenzing Lamsang / Thimphu