Dechen Dolkar 

The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has done away with the door-to-door campaigning for the political parties or their candidates for the fourth National Assembly (NA) Elections.

According to the Rules on Election Conduct of Bhutan 2022, political parties or their candidates or representatives will be allowed to conduct meetings at the community level with prior approval from the returning officer.

ECB officials said that political parties or candidates can now conduct campaigns in a community, within a cluster area in the village or within a village based on the approval from the returning officer.

“The candidates or political parties do not have to go for door-to-door campaign during the election period,” a senior ECB official said.

The officials said that it was consulted with the political parties and candidates.

It was learnt that many instances of alleged corruption, bribery cases and misinformation occurred during the door-to-door campaign. The candidates or political parties bribe the voters during door-to-door campaigns.

Some candidates even claimed that some voters were also setting limits for monetary contributions from political candidates for certain events, including weddings, during their door-to-door campaign.

Some candidates claimed that doing away with door-to-door campaigns would reduce expenses during elections.

ECB officials said that candidates cannot bribe voters and they will speak to the point during the community campaign without misinforming them in the presence of the election officials and the returning officer.

During one of the consultation meetings, the political parties have also unanimously agreed to discontinue door-to-door campaigns. 

Officials from political parties pointed out that many allegations arise during the door-to-door campaigns and now the parties can avoid unnecessary allegations and accusations.

They also mentioned that it would help them prevent possible corruption and misinformation.