The Election Commission of Bhutan in collaboration with the International IDEA has conducted a Workshop on Political Finance Regulation from 4th of November till 6th of November 2014 at Namsey Chholing Resort, Paro.
The participants included Member of Parliaments, Candidates, Sr. Party Executives and Treasurer of the Parties. The workshop discussed the following points with global perspective and principles aligning into Bhutanese context:
- The ability to understand terms ‘money in politics’ and ‘political finance’; the role (positive and negative) that money plays in politics; and why political finance matters.
- The ability to explain Asia’s main challenges and priorities to address them;
- Ability to identify and compare ways in which political finance can be regulated and to discuss the options available in regulating political finance;
- Capability to demonstrate insight into the financial needs of parties and candidates;
- Capability to demonstrate insight into permissible/prohibited sources of income and donations limits;
- The capability to understand the relevance of reporting and transparency; and
- The capability to understand steps in the monitoring process, including auditing and public inspection. The capability to understand the consequences for breaches against the law.
The workshop is being facilitated by Mrs. Elin Falguera, Political Finance Expert, International IDEA and officials of the Election Commission of Bhutan and was conducted through series of activities such as power point presentations, case studies, showing of relevant video clips with group discussions and activities.
The opening session was graced by the Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan, Secretary and Senior Officials of the Election Commission of Bhutan. The Chief Election Commissioner highlighted on the constitutional roles and responsibilities of the Political Parties and said that even the Parties not in the Parliament have to be in operation and ready to contest any future elections. He emphasized on the importance of Parties operating within the Constitutional and other Electoral Laws as viable Political Parties instead of expecting state funding for party operations.
The CEC also said that the Charter for the Bhutan Democracy Dialogue (BDD), an initiative conceptualized in 2014 jointly by all the registered Political Parties of Bhutan, a forum for facilitating, nurturing and strengthening of democracy in Bhutan will be finalized soon. The BDD shall function under the guidance of a Steering Committee (SC) comprising of two representatives each from Registered Political Parties and the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB). He also informed the gathering that a consultative meeting will be held on 6th of November, 2014 with the Legislative Committee with regard to the reported proposal to amend the Election Act.
Election Commission of Bhutan