Yangyel Lhaden

Poll day for the bye-election of the Khamdang-Ramjar constituency of Trashiyangtse dzongkhag will be held on February 3 of next year, according to a notification issued yesterday by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

The last day for filing the nomination of candidates is on January 8 and the election campaign will begin from January 11 through February 1.

The notification stated if there is only one candidate after the last day of filing of nomination of candidates is announced, it will be conducted as an ‘Uncontested Election’ in accordance with Sections 575 and 576 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008.

The election will be further postponed until further notice if there is no candidate after the last day of nomination, the notification stated.

The ECB will initiate postal ballots on January 12 and the last day for receiving postal ballots is on February 2.  Between January 26 and 28, the ECB will operate a mobile voting booth.

The ECB will officially announce the election results on February 4, according to the notification.

Khamdang-Ramjar constituency has not had a member of parliament (MP) since November 15 after former MP Kuenga Loday from Khamdang-Ramjar tendered his resignation to the speaker.

The MP was sentenced to five years in prison by the Trashiyangtse dzongkhag court on August 14 this year for illegal construction of a road in a restricted area.   

The court allowed him to pay thrimthue in lieu of prison terms.

The ECB, in pursuance of Sections 577 and 579 of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008, issued a notification for the by-election yesterday.

The commission stated that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all voters residing outside the constituency are encouraged to register and vote through postal ballots.