Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) yesterday cleared Thimphu thromde’s National Council (NC) nominee Tshokey Dorji from allegations of having received preferential treatment from the Department of Adult and Higher Education (DAHE) and Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC).

One of the candidates from Thimphu thromde, Sonam Penjor, had filed a complaint with ECB on March 12, alleging that BAC and DAHE allowed Tshokey Dorji to seek a letter of authentication from the Supreme Court and had not given the him a level playing field.

ECB yesterday issued its decision based on its findings that concluded that BAC and DAHE did not give preferential treatment to Tshokey Dorji.

“As a civil servant, he had worked in the judiciary,” ECB stated.

ECB also stated that the candidate’s degree was confirmed as per BAC’s guidelines.

“RCSC would have allowed the candidate to sit for the exam only after making sure that he had obtained a full-time degree,” ECB stated.

DAHE had also sought authentication of Tshokey Dorji’s certificate from RCSC but it did not confirm the mode of delivery.

It then advised the candidate to approach the Supreme Court as per a decision of BAC.

On March 6, the Supreme Court’s registrar general issued a letter to the BAC stating that Tshokey Dorji had completed a full-time five-year LLB from the University of Mumbai, India.

BAC on March 5, 2018 had said that the top court could authenticate law degrees.

Election commission said BAC as the authority to authenticate the degree had also decided to accept authentication of degrees by Bhutan Medical and Health Council, RCSC, and the Royal Bhutan Army.

“BAC had decided to seek authentication from secondary sources for the benefit of all the candidates. It was not intended to benefit Tshokey Dorji alone,” the ECB stated.

However, ECB stated that the secondary sources would be explored if the university fails to respond in time.

The complainant had also alleged that Tshokey Dorji was involved in ferrying voters, receiving help from religious personality, and soliciting votes.

Further, he alleged the defendant and his supporters were involved in soliciting votes by issuing VPICs on the poll day and not following proper procedure to obtain qualification endorsement.

However, ECB stated that about 43 people were questioned and the commission didn’t find any evidence to establish the claims.

The complainant can appeal within 10 days.

MB Subba