DNT confirms 47 candidates for general round

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has decided to field its candidates who represented the party in the primary round for the general round next month.

DNT president Lotay Tshering said that while election laws allow candidates to swap parties after the primary round, until yesterday morning, DNT office did not want to decide.

“It is a democracy and I cannot say no, we will not change our candidates, or yes, we will until today because I want to seek consensus from all the participants, party candidates, coordinators, most of the voters and the office,” Lotay Tshering said.

Going by the voting pattern of the primary round and the strength of the party’s candidates, he said the party agreed that their present strength is good.

Of the 47 candidates, the party has five women candidates. The youngest candidate is 25-years-old and the oldest is 63. The last day for withdrawal of candidature for the general elections is September 24.

The two parties that secured the highest and second highest votes will have to nominate the candidates for the 47 constituencies to the respective returning officer (RO). The last date for filling the nominations is September 21.

The scrutiny of nominations would be done by the RO of the respective constituency on the day immediately following the last date for filing of nominations that is on September 22. It will be done in accordance with the Electoral Laws, rules and regulations while keeping the Election Commission informed on the candidatures and scrutiny.

Lotay Tshering said the party is ready with all the documents such as audit clearance, court affidavit and that the party will submit the documents anytime soon.

When asked about DNT vice-president, Sherub Gyeltshen’s case of alleged fraud and collusion in a false insurance claim, which is pending at the Thimphu dzongkhag court, Lotay Tshering said one has to be criminally convicted to be disqualified from contesting in elections.  “Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen’s case is a civil case which is not even decided.”

Kuensel, however, learnt from officials at the Office of the Attorney General, that it is a criminal case.

According to Section 179 of the Election Act 2008, a person shall be disqualified as a candidate or a member holding an elective office under the Constitution if he or she has been convicted for any criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment.

Dechen Tshomo

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