The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has announced the date for the commencement of election campaigns for National Council, which will be from 14 March, and the Polls will be counted on 20 April for the Fourth Parliamentary Elections for 2023.
The notification shared by ECB was on election schedules, details concerning nomination of candidates, electoral rolls, electronic voting machines, polling stations, election officials, polling management, security, and other requirements.
The Polls for the Parliamentary Elections will be conducted in 811 polling stations.
The nominees of the various gewogs/dzongkhag thromdes, whose candidacy is accepted by the concerned Returning Officer, shall run for the National Council in each of the 20 dzongkhags.
The National Council Act of 2014, Sections 15A and 22, state that an existing National Council Member who wishes to run for office is not compelled to retire. Such aspirants shall not, however, show, deploy, or use any insignia, human resources, property, materials, information, or other advantage connected in any way to the office.
Dhamngoi Zomdu process to choose nominees from the gewogs/dzongkhag thromdes will commence from 25 February.
In accordance with the Guidelines for Dhamngoi Zomdu of the gewog/dzongkhag thromde for NC Elections 2023, the voter who participates, in person, and receives the highest number of votes at the selection Dhamngoi Zomdu is declared the nominee of a gewog/dzongkhag thromdes, and must file a nomination to run in the NC Elections in that dzongkhag.
The draft electoral roll will be made available for public view on 11 March, with a deadline of 21 March for submission of claims and objections, and the last date for filing the nomination will be 13 March.
Application for election campaign fund by the candidates, and the election campaign will be commenced on 14 March. With notification to ECB, the respective Returning Officers must conduct the examination of the candidates’ filed nomination papers, which will also be on 14 March.
The first day of January 2023 will serve as the qualifying date for purposes of creating the electoral roll for the election. As a result, everyone who is not under the age of eighteen on 1 January 2023, will be judged to meet the minimum age requirement to register to vote. The last date for registration for poster ballot will be 15 March.
Last date of withdrawal of candidature and release of campaign fund will be on 16 March. The election campaign fund of Nu 150,000 will be released to each individual candidate.
The NC election campaign period will start on 14 March 2023, and must end on 18 April 2023, at 9:00 am, 48 hours before polls opened on election day. The last date for receiving postal ballots will be 19 April.