The founder of Druk Gaki Tshogpa, Chheku Dukpa, submitted an appeal to the High Court challenging the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB)’s decision to deny registration for his party on March 23.

Chheku Dukpa submitted that the court ask ECB to justify reasons for not accepting the registration of the party.

The party applied for registration to ECB on February 9.

The commission stated that it was subjected to due scrutiny and review against the provisions of the Constitution and electoral laws. The commission in its meeting on March 15 decided to refuse registration for the party.

According to the submission, ECB cited three reasons – irregularities in the names of party members, lack of potential candidates for all 47 constituencies, and lack of clarity concerning party ideology.

The commission stated that Druk Gaki Tshogpa did not have members in two constituencies.

Chheku Dukpa’s letter to High Court stated that the Election Act 2008 doesn’t have any such specific requirement but the ECB rules 2015 sections 3.5.7 states that it would be enough have members from the dzongkhags.

As for the candidates, both the Act and rules do not say that the registering party should have all the candidates. The DGT submitted names of 25 candidates.

“There is no requirement to mention about the candidates at the time of registering the party,” Chheku Dukpa’s letter stated. “Imposing such requirements is not in adherence to the ECB Act and its rules.”

On the lack of clarity of party ideology, Chheku Dukpa submitted that there is no law requiring all issues to be in the ideology.

“The party presented its objectives, aspirations and other aspects to the commission in a meeting on February 26 where the ECB’s committee members praised them,” Chheku Dukpa stated in his letter.


Tshering Palden