Remarks made were not politically instigated, new parties clarified

The new parties have owned up to having passed politically-charged comments on the ruling party following the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) Secretary General’s who said that the new parties who are not officially registered with Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) have openly criticized government acts and polices.

In an interview with The Bhutanese last week, the Secretary General, Thinley Gyamtsho, said “It is not ethical on their part to do so, criticism if passed as an individual or concerned citizen is okay but without any formalities attacking the government seems unhealthy for a new democracy”.

The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) spokesperson Tandin Tshering, said that before officially registering the party with ECB, it’s not wise to speak on behalf of the party to the government.

“We have decided that we will not blame anyone or comment anything on the government as our main concern is about our own party,” supplemented the spoke person.

Dr. Tandi Dorji, the spokesperson for Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) said that being an unregistered party, they have never criticized government but may have critiqued as an individual.

“Freedom of speech is the fundamental right of every Bhutanese and nowhere in the penal code or in the constitution does it mention that an organization cannot pass their comments” alleged Dr. Tandi Dorji

He also clarifies that they were not criticizing, in fact they were expressing their concerns on general issues and if it was a serious personal attack then there is the ECB which will take action.

According to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, the Election Advisory 2013 publicly distributed on 26 April 2012 by the  Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has made it clear about activities that are permissible during Party formation; it includes engaging in healthy and constructive criticisms based on issues but to avoid personal attacks or mudslinging on any individual or entity

The Opposition, Member of Parliament (MP) Damcho Dorji is of the view that anybody whether its private individual or party can comment on Government’s action. “This is freedom of speech, only thing is that it should not be false and defamatory,” said MP Damcho Dorji

Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said, “It will be useful for all concerned that positive views and constructive statements are made so that it neither undermine others nor discredits oneself”.

The Chief Election Commissioner said “To avoid such confrontation among parties as well as between government and parties we have placed the Electoral Laws including the Political Parties Rule of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2009 and Election Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates which set clear legal context including penalties”.

A civil servant who regularly updated on the chain of events in the political sphere said that for a democratic culture, as long as it is not personal and it is the truth, passing comments is a healthy exchange of opinions.

“After all politics is a public affair and it needs to be debated” said the civil servant.

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5 comments

  1. Party Politics is engulfing whole of Bhutan…see here what do we have? So far there are only two registered Political Parties registered with ECB and many more are on its way to make it. However, the way they conduct is quite unethical as pointed out by the DPT Secretary General. They are not yet registered and how can they comment under the trade mark of their newly formed party. Everyone has the right to pass on judgements and comments provided that they are constructive and as an upcoming political party their focus should be on framing manifestos, objectives, logos and policies rather than commenting on the current political parties…
    But as long as they are not registered with the ECB, they are not qualified for commenting (trying to defamie) on other working political parties as they have no right to do it…if they do then their rights can be restricted for its defamatory to the current two political parties…Therefore I urge all the upcoming political parties to refrain from judging and commenting on the current political parties rather work on your own political party to make it strong and give a competitive election during the 2013….Prepare…prepare…prepare to give  a choice to the people and to lead the people to a better place instead of wasting your time on beating around the bush….All the BEst….

    • Messi! As you have disagreed with the walk talk and people have right to comment and express their understanding and so far no new parties had come forward and done the campaign as alledged by the DPT GS.
      I think you r DPT supporter so without
      any justification your inline with DPT GS.
      Therefore, if you are sidelined with the cited of GS without any justification is another unethical statement if we really needed talk

  2. Quote: The Secretary General, Thinley Gyamtsho, said “It is not ethical on their part to do so, criticism if passed as an individual or concerned citizen is okay but without any formalities attacking the government seems unhealthy for a new democracy”.
    This is such a sad comment since it undoubtedly exposes the immaturity of our ruling democratic party. Instead of taking it as blessing in disguise for strenghtening the party standing, the party is trying to display a show of muscle power…you are saying we are not concerned about voters’ sensitivity.

  3. Thinley Gyamtsho, are you saying that DPT is untouchable? The party, it seems, is now shaken, for they now fear even some comments. I thought we are already living in a democratic age; Thinley Gyamtsho, it seems, is living in another planet. Wake up!

  4. Aung San Suu Kyi wrote: “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it”.

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