… either party can appeal within five days if unsatisfied with the ruling 

Chencho Dema| Punakha 

Punakha election dispute settlement committee reprimanded a relative of a National Council candidate, Dophu Drukpa, for distributing green nets to voters in Toebisa gewog.

On March 9, one of the aspirant candidates from the gewog, Dechen Thaiye Dorji filed a case against his opponent Dophu Drukpa’s cousin for alleged bribery and lobbying of votes during the gewog’s dhamngoi zomdu held on March 7.

After investigating the case, the committee declared its decision to the two parties on March 16. 

Although the cousin had distributed green nets to six women from Rinakha, the committee’s investigation found that the nets were not given to the individuals to canvass votes and it ruled out the allegation of bribery.

However, since the distribution happened during the election period and was in conflict with the Election Act, the relative was warned not to repeat such acts.

As this is against the Elections Act, the cousin was asked to pay a fine equivalent to 120 days of the national wage rate.

Meanwhile, the six women were also warned and admonished to refrain from such acts in future. This is because the acceptance of such gifts is strictly prohibited during elections.

Meanwhile, the parties if unhappy with the decision of the committee can file an objection with the Election Dispute Settlement Centre within five days.