With the election period on, the Election Commission of Bhutan’s  (ECB) notification calling the third National Assembly election forbids the use of title, designation, rank, kabney and rachu, pata and geyntag or any other sign, insignia or symbol of an office held earlier during the campaign period.

This is in accordance with the election Act that states, “no person including candidates or the members of the political parties shall wear their kabney during the electoral campaign in public.”

The rationale, according to the commission is to maintain a level playing field to all the candidates. The notification also states that the office of the returning officer and venue of the election events shall be, as far as possible, at locations that do not require the wearing of the kabney or rachu and pata or geyntag.

The guideline for the conduct of the common forum also states that a representative of a political party or candidate shall not be referred with the title of post held by him or her except as speaker, candidate or party representative.

This applies to all the candidates, who have been conferred orange or red scarfs as well as to those who acquired titles by their qualification of PhD or a medical doctor.

The names of the medical doctors participating in the elections would also be stroked off the list of medical council and would not be allowed to practice.

In addition, the notification also states that meals, refreshments, payment, gift or reward is not allowed, including T-shirts, caps and others

“A political party, candidate, government or non-governmental authority, organisation or any individual shall not screen any audiovisual products or documentary clips or display and distribute any written or pictorial materials which attributes or depicts the past achievements of a particular aspiring candidate whilst in government or public service,” the ECB notification stated.

Tshering Dorji