Dechen Dolkar 

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has notified that the National Council (NC) elections for the fourth Parliament will be conducted in early 2023.

The tenure of the current National Council members end  on May 9, next year. 

The ECB also said that the familiarisation tour of the political parties and candidates would be allowed only until January 31, 2023. All political parties and candidates who are on their familiarisation tour must comply with this announcement.

ECB has reduced the number of polling stations and consequently, voters may encounter changes in the location of their polling stations.

According to the ECB, given the enhanced road access and improved network connectivity in the country, it has carried out a review with the objective to reduce the number of polling stations.

Eligible voters who have transferred their Mitsi on or before December 31, 2021, are advised to check their status on  ECB’s website, or by inquiring at the Commission’s Department of Electoral Registration & Delimitation (DERD).

ECB has notified that Voter Photo Identity Card (VPIC) or Citizenship Identity (CID) Card will be used for identifying voters at polling stations on the poll day. It is mandatory for all voters to carry either VPIC or CID card to the polling station.

The ECB urges all voters who have lost their CID cards or have not processed or obtained them to process for a new one immediately to avoid last-minute rush or inconveniences.

Similarly, in the case of those with CID cards with expired validity, it is reminded that such voters must apply for a new card at the earliest.

ECB has also notified that after the issuance of notification calling the National Council Elections, 2023, all social and religious activities will be closely monitored by the Dzongkhag Election Authorities.

In the event there are other annual calendar events or compelling needs, institutions/individuals concerned must submit applications and obtain approval. The Dzongkhag Chief Election Coordinator will review the applications, on a case-by-case basis, and accord decisions as deemed necessary.