The Pemagatshel dzongkhag election dispute settlement body, on October 8, warned and slapped a fine of Nu 6,450 to Cheku Wangyel from Nangkor in Shumar gewog for criticising the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) president, Lotay Tshering and the party supporters.

The dispute settlement body found that Cheku Wangyel, in a WeChat group criticised DNT president and supporters and breached the election rules and regulation. “Cheku Wangyel also confessed to what he has said,” the decision stated.

The dispute settlement body calculated the fine based on the minimum wage rate of Nu 215 a day for a month. It has asked Cheku Wangyel to deposit the fine amount into the dzongkhag’s revenue account.

“Cheku Wangyel was responsible for creating problems between a political party and people without any reasons and repetition of the offence would result in the imposition of additional fines as per the dispute settlement body’s rules and regulation,” the decision stated.

DNT’s coordinator, Dorji Gyeltshen, said Cheku Wangyel had said in the WeChat group on September 28 that DNT president, Lotay Tshering and the party supporters are useless and that the party has no capable candidates.

He said one of the group members informed him about the message and he lodged a complaint with the returning officer on October 1. He said Cheku Wangyel has also made derogatory comments to three supporters of DNT.

According to him, Cheku Wangyel had said that they are not going to vote for DNT and all the supporters. “He has also said that DNT president is mentally unsound and needed to be appeased to the local deities,” Dorji Gyeltshen said. 

Cheku Wangyel, 61, said what he said was under the influence of alcohol and that he had not made those statements intentionally. “I respect the dispute settlement body’s decision and paid the fine the same day,” he said. “I apologise to the DNT president and the supporters for criticising them.”

The dzongkhag election office confirmed that Cheku Wangyel is a registered voter and not a registered DPT supporter.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Pemagatshel