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Disqualification for Registration as a Political Party

The Election Commission of Bhutan hereby notifies the general public that the application for registration of aspiring political party, Druk Gaki Tshogpa, received on 9th of February 2018, was subjected to due scrutiny and review against the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Laws. Detailed feedback as well as adequate opportunity was provided to the applicant to submit revised documents before arriving at the final decision.

With regard to the application, the key aspects that are of particular concern are:

Membership

 

The applicant party submitted a final list of 308 registered members. However, irregularities in 29 cases were found with Name not in Electoral Roll; Names of Religious Personalities; Mismatch of Names and Constituency mistake. There are no members in 2 Constituencies.

Potential Candidates

 

A final list of 25 potential candidates have been received out of which it is found that two candidates are not registered members of the Party and one appears to be a different person, of different gender, which was informed to the applicant party but no rectified List was received.

There are no potential candidates for half of the 47 constituencies. In terms of the profile of the candidates in the List submitted, it is found that 20 are in the 25 to 35 years age group; 4 between 35 to 45 years and 1 is a 46-year old with no person of public standing with demonstrated experience of leading a Government or public office or an established business.

Party Charter

 

Serious concerns remain on the Party Ideology which is found to be general and nothing is mentioned about the how the substantive task of national development is envisioned thereby appearing to be not prepared for a national mandate.

 

Therefore, Election Commission while appreciating the efforts of the group finds that the applicant has fulfilled some of the criteria, and should be commended for it, but there are some serious concerns and issues that remain unaddressed.

 

These include concerns on leadership related to the lack of potential candidates for half of the constituencies as well as the lack of even a single person with demonstrated leadership ability at the national level or experience of having held an office of public responsibility and authority at a certain level. The other serious concern and reservation is on the preparedness of the applicant to contest elections, that too in the very near future. There are no indications of having taken into account the prospect of handling the reins of Government or being in Parliament, which is a real possibility as a registered political party and an outcome any registered political party should be prepared for.

 

As such, the Election Commission of Bhutan, in its meeting held on 15th of March 2018, decided to refuse to register the applicant party as a Political Party in the Kingdom of Bhutan in line with Sections 139(a) and 140 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008.

 

Issued on the Thirtieth Day of the First Month of the Earth Male Dog Year corresponding to the 17th March 2018.

 

Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan

 

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