… Peldruk Pelbar Facebook has been taken down 

Dechen Dolkar 

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) is reviewing social media posts made by the former National Council Chairperson, Dasho Sonam Kinga (PhD) on his decision to explore possibilities of contesting the 2023 elections.

Dasho Sonam Kinga posted on the social media page called ‘Peldruk Pelbar’ his intention of contesting elections in three languages with videos, last week.

However, the page has been removed five days after the first post was made. He also made a second post on Tuesday claiming that the social media page name ‘Peldruk Pelbar’ is not the political party name but a political movement. He also responded to several most frequently asked questions.

According to the ECB Social Media rules and regulations, any communication via telephone means including individual or bulk SMS, or the internet including Telegram, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, blogs, websites, personal or official, individual or entity, textual or graphics, video or voice shall be determined as political advertising if the content pertains to elections, political views or positions, or in any way can be understood to be in support or against a candidate or party contesting elections.

In the post, he said that the intention is to ultimately bring out a manifesto based on the views, feedback and contributions of the public, and also asked interested candidates to step forward.

According to the Election Act, the party is allowed to talk about the manifesto only after registration with the Election Commission of Bhutan and when ECB makes an announcement for the elections.

The election officials told Kuensel that the case was forwarded to the commission, and is being reviewed.

When Kuensel called the commission’s spokesperson, the reporter was directed to contact officials at the headquarters as he was away. Kuensel called the Chief Election Commissioner who redirected the reporter to the spokesperson and asked the reporter not to call him again.

Dasho Sonam Kinga did not respond to Kuensel’s request for information.