The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) removed on Wednesday evening four videos of its president talking about the party’s pledges in tshanglakha to the voters of Mongar and Nganglam constituencies from its social media account.
The Office of the Media Arbitrator (OMA) found that the posts had breached the electoral rules and instructed the party to take them down immediately.
DNT’s party manager, Phurba, said that the party did not seek approval from the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) for any video that they posted on social media so far.
“We have approvals for content to publish on the mainstream media,” he said, adding that there were other videos posted before the recent ones for which they have not sought permission from ECB and it was not an issue.
Phurba said that the OMA must have received complaints about them.
The party was asked to remove it and seek approval from the ECB to post them.
ECB’s election advertising regulations state that no person shall publish in any newspaper, magazine, periodical or social media “unless the person is authorised to do so and does so in accordance with the written directions of the Returning Officer.”
Some observers say that the Media Arbitrator’s move was a case of too little too late. “We have already heard the pledges of the ruling party candidates for the bye-elections and I’m sure by the time it was removed many had downloaded them,” an observer said.
Another said that if it was a breach of the rules then they should be punished.
Meanwhile, the party presidents of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa decided not to go to Mongar and Nganglam to campaign for the bye-elections in the two constituencies.
By Chhimi Dema
Edited by Tshering Palden