The Election Commission of Bhutan, in continuation to the Notification No.: ECB/CEC-04/2018/909 dated 11th of October 2018, would like to update the general public on the election disputes related to the General Elections of the National Assembly 2018.
Case #4: Complaint lodged by Sangay Phurba, General Secretary of DPT against Namgay Rinchen, DNT Coordinator of Punakha alleging the spread of Social Media (WeChat) messages on relations with India
As no appeal to the decision of CEDSB was received, the decision of a warning and a fine of minimum wage for thirty days to the Respondent was implemented. The case stands closed.
Case #5: Complaint lodged by Chorten Tshering, DPT Coordinator against Samten Wangdi, Registered member of DNT for his WeChat Statement pertaining to relations with India
As no appeal to the decision of Trashi Yangtse DEDSB was received, the decision was implemented with issue of a warning and a fine of the minimum wage for thirty days to the Respondent. The Case stands closed.
Case #6: Complaint lodged by Tshering Dorji, DPT Coordinator against Tendi Zangpo, Tshering Dargey and Kezang Norbu (Members of PDP) for their WeChat Statement pertaining to relations with India
As no appeal to the decision of Samdrup Jongkhar DEDSB was received, the decision was implemented with imposition of fine of minimum wage for thirty days for all the three respondents. The Case stands closed.
Case #8: Complaint lodged by Ugyen Dorji, DNT Representative against Chhorten Tshering, DPT Coordinator for allegation of threatening life and harassment on phone call
The Samdrup Jongkhar DEDSB received the complaint on 8th of October 2018. The Body decided to dismiss the complaint as it was found not a Prima Facie Case.As no appeal to the case was made, the case stands closed.
Case #9: Complaint lodged by Choida Jamtsho, DPT candidate of Nganglam constituency against Namsey Wangdi, member of PDP for his statement on WeChat pertaining to relation with India
As no appeal to the decision of the Pema Gatshel DEDSB was received, the decision was implemented with issue of warning and fine of the minimum wage of thirty days to Respondent. The Case stands closed.
Case #10: Complaint lodged by Dorji Gyeltshen, Kinley Wangdi and Passang Dorji (Members of DNT) against Cheku Wangyel of Nanong_Shumar Village under Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag for defamatory messages against DNT, that the President and the Local Supporters are all talk and no substance, through Social Media (WeChat) by Group of DPT Supporters
As no appeal to the decision of Pema Gatshel DEDSB was received, the decision was implemented with issue of warning and fine of the minimum wage of thirty days to Respondent. The Case stands closed.
Case #11: Complaints lodged by DPT Khar_Yurung candidate Tshering Choden and DNT Khar_Yurung candidate Ugyen Tshewang in relation to the gathering of people at Khangma, Yurung Gewog on the night of 7th October 2018
On 8/10/2018, DPT Khar_Yurung candidate lodged a complaint, alleging that DNT Khar_Yurung candidate, has gathered about 30 people at Khangma on 7/10/2018 between 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. On the same day on 8/10/2018, Ugyen Tshewang, DNT Khar_Yurung candidate filed a complaint against Nim Dorji, DPT Co-ordinator, Khangma alleging violence and criminal action by Nim Dorji at about 8:00 p.m. of 7/10/2018.
As both complaints relates to the same incident that took place on the night of 7/10/2018 at Khangma under Yurung Gewog, Pema Gatshel DEDSB’s Investigation team carried out the investigation jointly and statements were obtained from some of the individuals involved.
On 10th October 2018, the DEDSB forwarded the complaints with investigation Report and the case was decided by the Commission with dissolution of the CEDSB under the laws.
The Commission dismissed both the cases after detailed review of the complaints, statements and the investigation report as it was found that the meeting was of the local party supporters upon arrival of Candidate in the Chiwog and that there was no evidence to prove violence or criminal action.
Case #12: Complaint lodged by General Secretary of DNT against DPT candidate, Ugyen Wangdi of Dramedtse_Ngatshang constituency of Monggar Dzongkhag
The Office of Media Arbitrator received the complaint on 08/10/2018. The complainant alleged that the Respondent instigated voters to make false statement of identity and work place so as to avail postal ballot facility. The Monggar Dzongkhag Electoral Office conducted the investigation, including hearing from the Respondent and reverted back to the OMA on 10/10/2018.
On 11/10/2018, the OMA forwarded the investigation report which was considered on 12/10/2018 by the Commission.
Upon thorough review of the case the Commission decided under the laws to issue a Public Reprimand to the Respondent for instigation of false statement to avail postal ballot facility.
Case #13: Complaint filed by Sangay Khandu, Representative of DNT, Athang_Thedtsho against Ugyen Dorji, DPT Supporter
The complaint was received on 8/10/2018 by Office of Media Arbitrator alleging that the Respondent has said that if DPT wins, he will give heavy punishment to those who did not listen to him. The OMA forwarded the complaint to the CEDSB on 9/10/2018.
The Commission on 12/10/2018 reviewed the complaint, evidences submitted by both Parties, Report from the OMA and the Hearing conducted by the CEDSB on 11/10/2018. Based on the submissions and other material facts, the case was dismissed as the allegation could not be proven and the evidence provided by the Complainant was a modified version and the full conversation on the matter was subsequently provided by the Respondent as evidence.
Case #14: Complaint lodged by Kaka Tshering, representative of DPT against Gyeltshen, Dagana Dzongkhag
The Dagana DEDSB received the complaint on 09/10/2018. The Complainant alleged that the Respondent has referred DPT as Ngolop Party and solicited vote for DNT.
The Commission upon careful examination of the compliant, dismissed the case on 12th of October 2018 for want of Prima Facie evidence.
Case #15: Complaint Lodged by DNT Secretary General against Tenzin Wangchuk
The complaint received by CEDSB on 11/10/2018 alleged that the Respondent is a religious personality and has involved in the electoral process by promising to contribute Nu. Three Hundred Thousand for Kerong Village Drupchen in Pema Gatshel, to be held sometime in January or February 2019 for the electoral benefit of the DPT’s candidate of Nganglam Demkhong of Pema Gatshel Dzongkhag.
The Commission dismissed the case upon finding that the Respondent is not a Religious Personality, as his occupation is reflected as a “farmer” in the Mitsi records and accordingly is a registered voter in the Electoral Roll that was finalized after the claims and objection period. Other than the fact that he is the brother of the DPT Candidate, there is no evidence of him having exercised any undue influence or made any remark or indication of electoral benefit to the Candidate in the WeChat record provided by the Complainant as evidence.
Case #16: Complaint lodged by General Secretary, DPT against Ugyen Wangmo, DNT Party Coordinator, Bartsham_Shongphu Demkhong under Trashigang Dzongkhag
The Office of Media Arbitrator received the complaint on 11/10/2018. The Complainant alleged that the Respondent has circulated hate message in WeChat group (Bhutanese Charos) that mislead the voters with reference to DPT being anti-national and that the people must not support DPT.
The Commission received the findings and recommendations of the OMA on 12/10/2018 and having thoroughly examined the submissions and Report, found that the Respondent as DNT Coordinator is liable for sharing the WeChat message specifically in relation to the legal provision of “any content” with “intent to reduce the electoral chances of an opposing contestant or political party” and decided to issue warning and impose a fine of the minimum wage of thirty days to the Respondent.
Case #17: Complaint lodged by General Secretary, DNT against Kherjay (Tshering Gyeltshen), DPT Supporter
On 10/10/2018, DNT lodged a complaint in the Office of the Media Arbitrator (OMA) against Kherjay, DPT supporter alleging that he has chased the DNT President’s vehicle with the intention of throwing him and his colleagues off the Melong brak (cliff) while traveling to Pema Gatshel. The Election Commission received the Report of the OMA on the case on 13th of October 2018.
The Election Commission dismissed the case, after careful review of the evidence provided by the Complainant, statements from the Respondent and Investigation Report as the WeChat conversation record provided as evidence does not prove the instruction or intention of throwing off the cliff as alleged.
Released for public information
(Chogyal Dago Rigdzin)
Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan