Speaker, deputy speaker and chairman to be elected in December

BCP: A total of 4,132 members of democracy clubs voted for 293 candidates in the first ever Bhutan Children’s Parliament (BCP) elections held nationwide on Saturday.

The elections were held for 20 BCP-National Council (NC) and 43 BCP-National Assembly (NA) constituencies. However, elections could not be held in the Sombaykha in Haa, Kengkhar-Weringla Demkhong in Mongar, Khar-Yurung in Pemagatshel and Lingmukha-Toedwang in Punakha constituencies, as there were no candidates.

According to a press release from the election commission, 4,207 students from 153 democracy clubs had registered to vote. Electronic voting machines were used in 144 polling stations. The voter turnout was 98.22 percent.

For the BCP-NC, all the 20 constituencies have been filled with 18 boys and two girls elected, and for the BCP–NA 27 boys and 16 girls were elected.

The election commission stated it looks forward to the first sitting of the BCP which is planned to be held towards the end of December in the Democracy House, the new election commission building.

The Children’s Parliament’s have been instituted with the election. “Upon issuance of this notification, the BCP-NA shall be deemed to have been duly constituted,” it stated.

The election petition period started from yesterday and will end at 5pm September 23.

This was a mirror election that will have two houses of the Children’s Parliament with as many constituencies for respective Houses.

The BCP will be the apex body of democracy clubs in the country and function like a parliament and discuss pertinent issues. The first sitting of the BCP will be held in winter, when schools close for break.

Children, according to the constitution of the BCP, include all school going children, trainees and degree college students who are not older than twenty-four years.

According to the BCP Constitution, the Children’s Parliament will convene at least one formal session every year, in July or during the winter holidays of schools. Each member will serve for two years.

The proceedings of the BCP sessions will be submitted to His Majesty The King, Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Chairperson of the National Council, and Leader of Opposition.

The two houses of the BCP will also elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker and a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson in their respective first sessions. The BCP’s secretariat, which will be headed by secretary general, will be housed in the ECB compound and supported under the regular budget of the government.

MB Subba