Election: Aspiring thrompon candidates of Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelephu have six days, including today, to declare their interest to contest the second thrompon elections, which will be held on January 25.
Nomination of candidates will close on Thursday, December 31.
As of yesterday, except for a candidate who made his intentions clear to contest for the Gelephu thrompon, only the incumbent thrompons have come forward in Thimphu and Phuentsholing thromdes.
Chief election commissioner Chogyal Dago Rigdzin revealed the election schedule yesterday in Thimphu.
Simultaneously, elections of thromde tshogpas and thromde thuemis (representative of Dzongkhag Thromde to Dzongkhag Tshogdu) will also be held.
The CEC said, a major change from the first thromde elections would be the election of thromde thuemi at the same time as the elections for thrompon and thromde tshogpa.
There are seven tshogpa constituencies in Thimphu, six each in Phuentsholing and Gelephu thromdes.
Also, unlike in the previous elections, the Bhutan Accreditation Council will attest the degree certificates of candidates. The Royal University of Bhutan did it in the past elections.
Incumbents wishing to re-contest should resign any day that can enable them to produce their reliving order to take part in the selection of candidates, according to the CEC. He said the commission has been prepared to conduct the elections in a free and fair manner and that people in the thromdes have already been informed through various mediums.
Elections officials said a fund of about Nu 275M has been kept aside for the 2016 local government elections, but added that the expenditure for the three thromdes would not be known at the moment. Officials said necessary equipment and funds are in place for the election.
A registered voter aspiring to contest the thromde tshogpa elections should produce signatures of at least 5 percent of the registered voters from the respective demkhong supporting his or her nomination. The voters supporting the nominee should come from at least five households and no voter can support more than one nominee.
The CEC said with a resident population of about 100,000, Thimphu Dzongkhag Thromde has the highest of about 7,275 voters. Phuentsholing and Gelephu have about 712 and 1,121 voters respectively.
A candidate will be given up to 22 days for campaigning, which will start from January 1 and end at 8am on January 23.
The election commission yesterday notified that no minister, member of parliament, official and local leaders could campaign directly or indirectly for any candidate. “No travels or official tours shall be undertaken by a minister or Member of Parliament to a Demkhong during the election period except to cast their votes on the poll day should they wish not to use the postal ballot facility extended to them and their spouses,” the election commission notified yesterday.
The banks have also been asked to report to the election commission any abnormal transaction of money, including in the account of a candidate contesting the Thromde Elections in the three dzongkhags.
The election commission will also organize public debates for thrompon candidates and a common forum will be organized for thromde tshogpa and thromde thuemi candidates as well.