Nima Wangdi 

Thirty-three people from Guma Gewog in Punakha were at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) office in Thimphu yesterday to ask ACC about the case that their Gup candidate is accused to be involved in.

They said the ACC refused to disclose the case details claiming it was confidential.

A 40-year old man from Lakhu said it is important that ACC inform the public if the candidate is involved in any corrupt practice. He said people could then vote for other candidates. “ACC claims to have a case against him but does not disclose what it is.”

People said they were given the responsibility to elect the most capable leader but the authorities disqualified the candidate of their choice. “This means the right to elect a candidate is being revoked by these authorities.”

Villagers said they want a capable leader who can serve the people best. “There is no point electing someone incapable because of lack of choice.”

Villagers said they also want Changyul tshogpa candidate who is equally capable.

People questioned the Royal Audit Authority and ACC’s wait till the last minute to revoke audit clearances for the gup and tshogpa candidates. People questioned that the case was filed with the commission long ago. “Why should the revocation of audit clearance come now?”

They said that if the trend of some people filing complaints against a person out of personal differences and ACC goes on disqualifying the candidates just because there is a case against the person, we would have no candidates someday.

A 65-year-old villager said the Gup candidate was a jewel for the gewog and can’t afford to lose him without elections.

Villagers said they would not take part in the elections otherwise.

The villagers returned to Punakha yesterday evening.

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk