Meanwhile, ECB is gearing up for upcoming Thromde Tshogde Election in the pandemic scenario
According to the spokesperson of Election Commission of Bhutan, Phub Dorji, the Third Thromde Tshogde Elections date is not yet decided and it will be confirmed only when the notification goes out.
The Thromde Tshogde for Thimphu, Gelephu and Phuentsholing completed their tenure on friday.
He said that in the light of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country, they cannot gather and talk to people. “It is not advisable and feasible to disseminate information so keeping this in mind we will disseminate information through main stream media and social media to the public and the voters regarding the election,” he said.
The ECB is exploring various options to conduct elections in compliance with health safety protocols and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
He said that looking at the current situation. ECB is planning to conduct the election as early as possible.
“Because of the lockdown everyone is aware of the situation and following safety protocols, however, as the time flies people might relax and that might lead to undesirable situation later so we don’t wish that to happen,” he said.
ECB is in full swing and working day and night. They are preparing and planning on how to go about if the election has to be conduct in a longer term situation and how to work in the pandemic situation.
“If the Poll day falls on a lockdown, it will take place according to the directives from any higher authorities, but the mode of election will change depending upon the situation. We have already worked out how to go about though we have not finalized,” he said, adding that when the tenure is over they will announce the date for filing of the nomination of candidate and when to start campaigning etc.
ECB announced for the Functional Literacy and Possession of Skills Test for Aspiring Candidates to the Third Thromde Tshogpa Elections, 2021 which is mandatory and for the Thrompon it is clearly stated in a law that he or she should have formal university degree.
There is no explicit law for a person stating that he or she can serve this many terms as long as he or she fulfills the criteria set which means he or she has to be Bhutanese by law and 25 years and above and 65 years and below and if people chooses him or her.
In preparation towards the Thromde elections under the prevailing situation, the officials from the ECB will be collecting data from the registered voters of Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelephu Thromde Demkhongs. Accordingly, one of the registered voters of a household in the said Thromde Tshogde will be contacted.
In keeping with this requirement, the ECB said it would be grateful if the concerned voter could kindly be prepared to provide the information sought, in order to ensure a safe and secure Thromde elections.
He added that by law a person has to be registered in that constituency to be an eligible voter.
According to ECB, the election campaign will be permitted from the date of issue of notification calling the Local Government elections by the Election Commission of Bhutan. Thereupon, campaigning shall end forty-eight hours prior to the hour fixed for the commencement of poll for the election.
As per the notification, Section 268 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008 provides that:
“The election campaign shall be permitted to commence from the date of issue of notification by a Royal Decree calling an election as announced, or notified in the case of Local Government elections by the Election Commission and end forty-eight hours prior to the hour fixed for the commencement of poll for the election.”
Any election campaign before the issue of notification calling Local Government elections shall be construed as being in violation of the Section mentioned above and shall be dealt as per the electoral laws.
Meanwhile, Samdrup Jongkhar’s Thromde Tshogde will complete its tenure on October 25, 2021.