Dechen Dolkar

One of the oldest political party, Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) has deregistered as a political party with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

The ECB notified that BKP stands deregistered as a political party and its name has been removed from the register of political parties maintained with the ECB, yesterday.

The BKP submitted an application on January 20, 2023 expressing their desire for deregistration as per Section 147(d) of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008.

The Act states that the election commission may remove the name of a political party from the register of political parties, if it has intimated its desire to the Commission to be struck off the register of political parties.

BKP was registered as a political party in January 2013.

The founder of the party, Sonam Tobgay, announced the deregistration through a  Facebook page stating that that BKP is making space for other political parties.

It stated that BKP has endeavored to contribute towards the democratisation process by registering as the third oldest political party after People’s Democratic Party and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa.

“For democracy to flourish and to usher in national prosperity for all Bhutanese, it will require mindful politics consistent with GNH values and Buddhist principles. While the goal to a successful election is important for any political party, more important is the means that must well justify the noble end goal,” it states. 

It also states that BKP has kept this value close to its heart in two successive elections, fully aware that a painful price could be paid in the process.

“We continue to remain proud to have lived by our values and beliefs taking not a single voter to empty campaign promises and rent-seeking agendas,” it states.

It also states that BKP may be dissolved as a political party, but Kuenyam will remain in the hearts and minds of many with history as the ultimate judge of our contribution and well-intended ideology towards nation building.

“We thank all party supporters, members and constituency candidates for the sacrifices they made in this journey and wish the very best to all the political parties contesting the upcoming national elections,” it states.

In the 2018 elections, BKP secured 9.78 percent of the total votes.

According to the Public Election Fund Act of Bhutan, 2008, BKP is not eligible for state fund for the next elections, since the party secured less than 10 percent votes in the primary round.