Pemagatshel dzongkhag election dispute settlement body (DEDSB) warned and imposed a fine of Nu 6,450 to Namsey Wangdi from Kerong village of Choekhorling, Nganglam drungkhag on October 9 for violating electoral rules.

The DEDSB found that Namsey Wangdi, in a WeChat group, told the people of Khar-Yurung constituency to vote for Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) Khar-Yurung candidate and let the Druk Phuenseum Tshogpa’s (DPT) candidate lose the election in the upcoming general round.

Namsey Wangdi confessed sending the voice message and paid his fine to the office of the returning officer of Nganglam constituency on October 11.

According to the decision, the fine was imposed based on section 29.1.1 of the election dispute settlement rules and regulation 2018, as he has breached the provision of section 294 of the Election Act, 2008 and section 4.4 of the social media rules and regulation 2018.

“Namsey Wangdi was responsible for creating problems between political parties and people without any reasons and repetition of the offence would result to the imposition of additional fines as per the dispute settlement body’s rules and regulation,” it stated.

DPT candidate of Nganglam constituency, Choeda Jamtsho, lodged the complaint against Namsey Wangdi on October 8. The office filed the case based on the WeChat conversation voice record.

As per the complaint letter, Namsey Wangdi has influenced people to vote for DNT and circulated the voice message in a WeChat group.

Choeda Jamtsho submitted 13 WeChat recordings in MP3 format as evidence.

Namsey Wangdi said that a non-Bhutanese at Samtabari in Assam asked him if the election was over and which party he was supporting. “I then told him that I was People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) supporter before and I have not decided which party I would support now. I said the same in a WeChat group,” he said.

He said he didn’t make those statements intentionally and that he respects the dispute settlement body’s decision.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Nganglam