… parties have to submit their pledges to the commission on September 28

Dechen Dolkar 

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) will constitute an independent committee to advise and assist the commission to review political parties’ manifestos. 

According to the Rules on Elections Conduct in the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2022, the commission will have full discretion in determining and approving the parties’ manifestos, with or without modifications. 

Director of Secretariat and spokesperson of ECB, Phub Dorji said that the commission will soon constitute an independent committee to review political parties’ pledges. 

However, he said that the commission is yet to decide on the number of members on the committee.  

“The commission has identified the committee members,” he said. 

He also said that the commission would not reveal the identity and names of the committee members and the commission also denies sharing the committee’s responsibility. 

The rules also stated that political parties will not release or publicise manifestos or documents detailing their programmes and policies without the approval of the commission.  

Political parties or candidates also cannot announce or pledge without disclosing the means of financing such expenditure in any form or promise. 

“Political parties or candidates cannot make any unrealistic or unreasonable pledge or any financial changes which may result in the reduction of government revenues, without disclosing the means of how the political party or candidate intends to make good such reduction,” the rules state. 

After the announcement of an election by the commission, a registered political party can announce the strength of its party based on leadership and membership, and its past performance and issue a manifesto detailing the programmes and policies it would implement if elected. 

It was learnt that all parties have to submit their manifesto to ECB on September 28 at 2pm.

Parties are in the process of drafting and preparing the manifesto. While the People’s Democratic Party claim that their manifesto is ready, Bhutan Tendrel Party, and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa claim that they have completed the first draft. 

Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa and Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa are yet to complete the first draft of their manifestos.