Dechen Dolkar

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has decided to conduct a presidential debate for Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), two political parties contesting for the general round of elections, on December 12.        

According to the election schedule, the presidential debate was mentioned only for the primary round of elections. 

The Director of the Secretariat of ECB and ECB’s spokesperson, Phub Dorji, said that the presidential debate for the general round of elections was initiated because if the president cannot cover and reach all the constituencies for the campaign, the presidential debate will provide a platform. 

 “It allows the president to reach their campaign to all constituencies through the presidential debate,” he said.

In the past elections, a presidential debate in general was not conducted.  

The spokesperson said that the model for the presidential debate will be discussed today. 

The ECB has also postponed the public debate for candidates from December 18. 

According to the election schedule, it was initially scheduled to commence on December 14.

Phub Dorji said it was postponed because Bhutan Broad Casting Services (BBS) is facing a shortage of human resources since they have to cover the National Day celebrations. 

“We feel that National Day is important and public debate for candidates can be postponed,” he said.

The public debate for candidates will be completed on January 1, next year, with debates for three constituencies taking place each day.

The poll day for the general election is on January 9.