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LG: Trashigang’s election dispute settlement body recently warned threma tshogpa in Kangpar and two candidates of Kangpar and an individual in Thrimshing following a petition from the respective gewogs to returning officer.

An individual in Thrimshing was warned for transporting students on chiwog zomdu on August 15. A man from Thrimshing filed a petition to returning officer on September 2, which was forwarded to dzongkhag election dispute settlement body for further investigation.

The petition alleged one of the vehicle owners from Thrimshing of transporting students to the gewog centre office during the chiwog zomdu.

According to the warning letter, although the vehicle owner refuted in his statement of carrying students, investigation found that the vehicle owner had actually transported students to the gewog centre for chiwog zomdu.

“Although you have the right to carry passengers since it’s your vehicle as you are not a chiwog zomdu nominee, your statement was however found inconsistent with the statement from the students’ parents,” the warning letter stated.

The statement from the parents stated that the vehicle owner had owned up from before to carry the students against his statement to the investigation team of meeting the students on the way to the gewog centre. “The dzongkhag election dispute settlement body, therefore, is issuing you a warning letter for failing to give us the correct information and statement,” the letter warned the vehicle owner.

In another petition, the dzongkhag election dispute settlement body also warned a threma tshogpa in Kangpar for conducting a public gathering, which is prohibited during the election period. The letter asked the tshogpa’s lopen and rest of the members to avoid such assembly during the election period.

The dzongkhag election dispute settlement body had conducted an investigation following a complaint from an individual from Zordung village in Kangpar on September 2, alleging threma tshogpa of conducting mass threma tshokhor (ritual). The warning letter stated that although the tshogpa claimed to be unaware of gathering being prohibited during election period, the body warned the tshogpa that ignorance is inexcusable when it comes to implementation of laws.

“As per the electoral laws religious activities and mass gathering during the election period is prohibited. Therefore, it is to inform the tshogpa to refrain from conducting any religious activities and public gatherings during the election period,” the letter warned.

The election dispute settlement body also warned a gup and a mangmi candidate from Kangpar for sponsoring food and drinks during the tshokhor in Merdha before the election period. The same man, who filed a petition against threma tshogpa filed another complaint against these two candidates on September 2.

As per the petition, the two candidates reportedly sponsored food and drinks to people during the threma tshokhor in Merdha. The dispute settlement body said the candidates though claimed of giving refreshment before declaration of their candidature, they were however asked to refrain from serving refreshments to people for all the time.

“Whether the refreshments, food or drinks were served before declaring your candidature or after the declaration, you must abstain from engaging in such activities,” the reminder letter stated. “Therefore, act not in a way that gives others reason to point finger at you,” the candidates were cautioned.

Trashigang’s electoral officer, Tshering Phuntsho, said that both the petitions were let go with warnings and reminder.

“Both petitions were given only warning because neither was found to be a matter of serious concern,” Tshering Phuntsho said.

Tempa Wangdi | Trashigang

Supported by Bhutan Media Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

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