MB Subba

Bye-elections in Mongar and Nganglam constituencies will be held on June 29, according to a notification issued today by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

The election campaign will begin on May 25 and end on June 27. Public debates for Mongar and Nganglam constituencies will be held on June 14 and 15 respectively.

The ECB will operate mobile voting booths from June 21 to 25. June 28 has been set as the last date for receiving postal ballots.

The ECB will officially announce the results of the election on June 30, according to the notification.

The former home minister, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, who was the MP from Mongar constituency, resigned on May 6 after both the Prime Minister and Speaker of the National Assembly accepted his resignation.

The larger bench of the High Court recently sentenced the minister to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance worth Nu 226,546.   

The crime took place after he superannuated from the civil service and before he joined Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa to contest in the third parliamentary elections.

The former Nganglam MP Choida Jamtsho from Pemagatshel died on the night of April 18 after consuming a curry made of some wild plant in Baelangdra, Wangduephodrang.

The ECB issued the notification in obedience to the Royal Decree of His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo issued yesterday and in pursuance to Sections 577 and 579 of the Election Act.

A bye-election for filling any vacancy to Parliament shall be held within a period of 90 days from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy.

Those who attain the age of 18 on April 1, 2021 will be eligible to vote in the bye-elections. A registered voter born on or after May 24, 1956 and before May 24, 1996 will qualify as a candidate provided he or she fulfills the other criteria.

The Election Code of Conduct will come into force from today and will continue to be in force till June 30. “All election officers, political parties, candidates and voters must comply with the Election Code of Conduct and the provisions of the Electoral Laws, Rules and Regulations and Guidelines,” the notification stated.

The ECB has also notified that no travels, public gatherings or official tours by MPs or political parties in the two constituencies will be allowed during the election period unless approved by the Returning Officer.

The notification also states that no candidate will be allowed to use his or her title, designation, rank, kabney/rachu, pata/gyentag, or any other sign, insignia or symbol of an office held earlier, on person, car or any personal effects as may be used during the campaign period by the candidate, representatives or supporters.

A civil servant, except in the capacity of an election official mandated to fulfill a required electoral function, should not campaign or attend campaign meetings.

A candidate will, upon acceptance of his or her nomination by the Returning Officer, be eligible to receive Election Campaign Fund of Nu 150,000.