Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Election Commission of Bhutan suffers from a moral and legal ethic sub standard. Is this Corruption?

The National Council good governance committee has reported that census transfer of a serving elected officer from one constituency/geog to that of another is in breach of provisions of the Constitution and Election Act. And yet the Election Commission had had taken an extra ordinary decision to issue a specific localised order to sanctify the census transfer without requiring that individual to forfeit his elective post he still holds in the constituency that he chose to abandon.

The fundamental requirement for a Bhutanese to participate for any political/ elective post is the validity of his/her census in that particular constituency/geog which the individual desires to represent. This applies to all elective posts from that of Tsokpa, Gup to MPs. A Tsokpa must lose his right to remain in the elective post if he/ she transfers the census away from the village or villages that he/she represented. Likewise a Gup should resign from the post of Gup of that particular geog if he/she transfers the census to another geog before the completion of tenure.  Likewise a Thrompon or an MP should be required to forfeit the elective right to remain in the elected post if the census is transferred to another Thromdey or Constituency.

A Bhutanese has the right to transfer his/her census within Bhutan provided prescribed formalities are followed. That is governed by Immigration and Census rules under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Why did the Election Commission even find the necessity to issue a notification sanctifying the census transfer of serving Drametse Gup to Ngatshang geog ? The breach of law is not caused by the act of transferring one's census.  It is holding on to the elective post when the fundamental rule that requires the census of that particular post holder to be in that constituency / geog has been breached.

The question the Parliament or the Judiciary of Bhutan must decide is whether a Bhutanese can still serve in the elected post if he/ she chooses to become a foreign citizen after winning an election ? Can a King of Bhutan continue to be the King if he chooses to marry a foreigner after ascending on the Throne ? Should the Home Ministry have required the Drametse Gup to resign from his Drametse elected post  before transferring his census to another geog? Should the Election Commission of Bhutan have required the Drametse Gup to forfeit his Drametse Gup post upon transfer of his census to Ngatshang geog ? A uniform rule of law applies to all political/elective posts from prince to pauper. If a Gup is not required to respect this fundamental rule then how can the Nation expect a Minister or anyone above to adhere to the most crucial and main tenet of Election Law that mandates that only a Bhutanese not any Bhutanese but a census registered Bhutanese of that geog/ constituency has the right to represent that Geog / constituency ? The Parliament must now decide to either fully respect the prevailing provisions of the Constitution/ Election Act or amend the same. But the Constitution and Election Act of  Democracy cannot be left unattended wounded or in limbo.

Bhutan is suffering from a malaise of invented not legislated rules of engagement that distorts any and every rule in the books thus illegally creatiing special and exceptional get away routes for politically favoured candidates and groups. Political Parties/ Groups and individuals would benefit through such favoured status in the short run but in the long run the whole nation stands to lose if the Keepers of Laws of Election in a Democracy and Provisions of a Nation's Constitution are swept under the carpet for reasons of political exigencies.

It seems that the Chairman of National Council clarified the position of the his  House stating that the discussion to be held on the census transfer issue ( of a serving ) elected member was not intended to target  the particular Gup but to set a right precedent. Well I cannot say the same thing. I am not a holder of a apolitical post with a political wary mind. I hold everyone the Gup, the Election Commission, the Home Ministry, the National Council, the National Assembly and the Parliament as a whole liable for dereliction of Constitutional responsibility and duty.


  1. Include judiciary as well... Shouldn't judiciary intervene when there is intentional breach of constitution!

  2. There used to be a time when I had so much respect for one senior official. He was then heading the RAA. I thought if there was one senior govt official in Bhutan who could carry out his duties with NO FEAR or FAVOUR, it was this man. However, the last election has clearly shown that I was wrong to believe the way that I believed.