The Election Commission of Bhutan’s (ECB) media arbitrator office found 22 Facebook posts objectionable as of yesterday evening, according to a press release.

It stated that of the 22 posts, the originating users deleted four posts, Facebook authorities deleted six while 12 posts are under process and being followed up.

The press release states that during the primary round, 15 Facebook posts were found objectionable, of which the originating social media users removed three and Facebook authorities removed four.

It states that eight posts remained unresolved although it is being taken up with Facebook authorities.

ECB states that the 20 social media monitors are in the various WeChat groups of the respective candidates and coordinators as deterrent measure although it is a challenge to monitor all WeChat groups, which is mushrooming for various purposes.

It also states that the commission received 10 cases through the election dispute settlement system of which six are in appeal period and four cases are under process.

The first case is a complaint lodged by Tsagay and Kado against Thinley Wangdi and Namgay Tshering, the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) candidate for Dokar-Sharpa demkhong of Paro dzongkhag for bribery.

It stated that the central election dispute settlement body (CEDSB) found no evidence to prove the allegation and fined the complainants for lodging the complaint without proper fact-findings and causing disturbance to the small community. They were required to bear the expenditure for the two witnesses who were asked to attend the hearing. The case is closed.

The second case was lodged by Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) candidate Nidup Zangpo of Nubi-Tangsibji constituency in Trongsa against Yeshey Penjor, the DNT candidate for his WeChat statement.

The Trongsa dzongkhag election dispute settlement body (DEDSB) found Yeshey Penjor in violation of the legal provisions and issued a warning and imposed a fine of minimum wage for two months.

The case is closed with no further appeal.

The third case is a complaint lodged by a member of DNT, Chimi Dorji, against Sangay for allegedly threatening to kill him and Ngawang Dorji, another member of DNT Pemagatshel DEDSB found that Sangay under the influence of alcohol and allegedely threatening to kill Chimi Dorji was a false allegation.

The DEDSB issued a warning to Chimi Dorji and Dorji Wangchuk for spreading malicious information on social media and Sangay Dorji was warned for creating nuisance under the influence of alcohol. The case is closed with no further appeal.

The fourth case was a complaint lodged by Sangay Phurba, the general secretary of DPT against Namgay Rinchen, the DNT coordinator of Punakha. The CEDSB issued a warning and imposed him a fine of minimum wage for 30 days.The case is in appeal period.

The fifth complaint was lodged by a DPT coordinator, Chorten Tshering against Samten Wangdi, a registered member of DNT for his WeChat statement on India-Bhutan relationship.

The Trashiyangtse DEDSB warned and imposed a fine of the minimum wage for 30 days on Samten Wangdi.The case is in appeal period.

The sixth complaint was lodged by a DPT coordinator, Tshering Dorji, against members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Tendi Zangpo, Tshering Dargey and Kezang Norbu for their WeChat statement.

Samdrupjongkhar DEDSB found the three individuals in violation of electoral laws and imposed a fine of minimum wage for 30 days on all three. The body also reprimanded the respondents to not spread false rumours and refrain from such comments during the election period.The case is in appeal period.

The seventh case is against DPT’s Khar-Yurung candidate, Tshering Choden lodged by DNT.

The Election Commission issued a warning, imposed a fine of the minimum wage for 60 days and issued a restraining order on the candidate, her representative and party workers from campaigning for rest of the campaign period in the constituency to ensure that ill-will is not instigated in the community through misleading and divisive messages.

The eighth complaint is lodged by a DNT representative, Ugyen Dorji, against a DPT coordinator, Chhorten Tshering for an allegation of threatening life and harassment on phone call. The Samdrupjongkhar DEDSB dismissed the complaint as it was found not a prima facie case. The case is in appeal period.

The ninth case is lodged by DPT candidate of Nganglam constituency Choeda Jamtsho against a member of PDP, Namsey Wangdi, for his statement on WeChat.The DEDSB issued a warning and imposed a penalty of the minimum wage of 30 days on Namsey Wangdi.The case is in appeal period.

The 10th case is a complaint lodged by members of DNT, Dorji Gyeltshen, Kinley Wangdi and Passang Dorji against Cheku Wangyel of Nanong-Shumar Village in Pemagatshel for defamatory voice messages against DNT.The case is under appeal period.

Tashi Dema