150 graduates contesting LG elections

LG: A record number of 150 university graduates are contesting in the on-going LG elections.

Functional literacy certificate issued by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) fulfills the qualification criterion for all LG posts, except for thrompon.

In total, 3,463 candidates were cleared through the scrutiny process for various elective posts, out of which 473 are former elected LG members.

There are 981 high school graduates. A total of 697 candidates have primary school education, and 332 have attended non-formal education (NFE) programmes.

The nominations of 32 candidates were rejected on various grounds. Three of them were women and 29 men.

According to the ECB, grounds for disqualification included affiliation with political parties, lack of security clearance certificates and forged signatures, among other reasons.

A total of 10 candidates withdrew their candidatures.

After the withdrawals and the rejection of the candidature, there are now 606 gup candidates, out of which 27 are female and 579 male. For the post of mangmi, 673 candidates got through the scrutiny process.

There are 108 female and 565 male candidates for mangmi. According to the ECB, 2,144 are contesting for the post of tshogpa, out of which 375 are women and 1,769 men.

Besides the gewog and Samdrupjongkhar thromde elections, there will also be elections of thromde ngotshab (town representative). 31 aspirants have filed nomination for thromde ngotshab.

However, no one has filed nomination for the post of tshogpa in 40 chiwogs of 17 dzongkhags. The three dzongkhags of Gasa, Monggar and Pemagatshel does not have thromde ngotshab candidates and, therefore, will remain vacant for the time being.

According to the ECB, the number of women candidates has more than doubled with a total of 522 women candidates contesting in the on-going elections.

Disputes

As of yesterday, the ECB said that 11 allegations and complaints have been received by Dzongkhag Election Dispute Settlement Bodies (DEDSB), out of which two have been referred to the Central Election Dispute Settlement Body (CEDSB).

An allegation of misconduct by rival aspiring candidate at zomdu in Lhuentse was dismissed by the DEDSB. The case is now closed.

Complaint based on dissatisfaction with the zomdu results for Samdrupjongkhar’s Dzongkhag Thromde was decided by the DEDSB and further appealed to the CEDSB. The CEDSB decided to issue warning to the zomdu team for accepting and allowing the single instance of the use of a photocopied document as proof of voter identification. However, the zomdu results were not overturned as the difference in the results was more than one vote. The case is now closed.

An allegation of bribery in Dagana was withdrawn by the complainant.

A complaint based on dissatisfaction with the zomdu results in Paro is in the appeal period currently. A complaint based on dissatisfaction with the zomdu results was lodged by an aspiring gup candidate in Dagana, alleging refusal to issue VPIC to his daughter. The case is currently being reviewed by the Dagana DEDSB.

Two separate cases of allegations of bribery, threat and corrupt activities in Zhemgang are currently being reviewed.

An allegation of a gup candidate in Sarpang Dzongkhag being married to a non-national was withdrawn by the andidate.

An allegation of a gup candidate in Samtse being married to a non-national was filed. However, the candidate submitted that he was married to a non-national previously but is currently married to a national with submission of the Marriage Certificate and the CID of his spouse. Officials have accepted the submission of the candidate as he is no more married to his former non-national wife.

An allegation of a gup candidate in Trashiyangtse having been terminated from service was also filed. The complainant withdrew the case and no further evidence was provided by the complainant or was found by the DEDSB in the official records.

In Wangdue, allegation of a gup candidate giving false information to acquire affidavit as he has a record of criminal conviction was filed. The case is currently being reviewed.

MB Subba

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