Royal Kasho on LG elections

The Prime Minister, on behalf of the National Council, National Assembly and two political parties, has brought before me the issue of the candidates disqualified from participating in Local Government elections.

The 90 disqualified candidates have also jointly submitted an appeal on the same issue.

The members of the National Council have submitted their concerns on the relaxation of the one-year mitsi requirement for candidates in Local Government elections.

As King, it is my duty at all times, to examine not just the issue at hand, but to also contemplate the long term effect of any decision on the unity, harmony and security of our nation; on the dignity, integrity and strength of the Constitution; on the strength of law and the growth of a successful democracy in Bhutan.

In the interest of unity and harmony, I have always encouraged close consultation and cooperation between different branches and agencies of government; between institutions and the public; and among our people themselves. Bhutan is a small country so we must always seek ways to sit together, face to face in the spirit of brotherhood and with unity of purpose, to resolve all issues. We must take advantage of our strength as a small close-knit society. The submissions made by the Prime Minister on behalf of so many important institutions, reflects this approach of cooperation and consultation. I am very proud and happy to say that this is good democracy at work.

With regard to the Local Government elections, our primary concern should be that the Election Commission of Bhutan is able to replicate, and build upon, the tremendous success of the General Elections of 2008. However, the submissions made by the Prime Minister, the appeal by the disqualified candidates and the National Council’s stand, all indicate that the circumstances are less than conducive for successful Local Government elections. To conduct our first Local Government elections as a young democracy under such circumstances would hinder the growth of a strong vibrant democracy, and undermine the achievements we have made in our democratic transition. It would also tarnish the reputation that the Election Commission has rightly earned as a strong, just and independent institution. Therefore, while the Election Commission has always worked in the interest of the nation, and is striving today to conduct Local Government elections that have already been greatly delayed, it is advisable that they first resolve all issues before proceeding with the ongoing Local Government elections. The desired outcome of our first Local Government elections as a democracy should be that our people in the 205 gewogs of our 20 dzongkhags have faith, confidence and pride in the representatives they have elected to office. This outcome can only be achieved if we are all faithful to the Constitution, the laws of our land and the will of our People.

I hereby issue this Kasho on the 4th of May 2011 in carrying out my sacred Constitutional duty to “protect and uphold this Constitution in the best interest and for the welfare of the People of Bhutan.”

 

Jigme Khesar

King of Bhutan

 

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Comments

  1. INVISIBLE says:

    Royal Kasho reflects the heart of a true leader.

    A LEADER IS LED. His Majesty, as a true leader, is asking the people of Bhutan to lead. Bhutanese people must lead -now, together – respecting “the dignity, integrity and strength of the Constitution.”

    With Respects,
    Invisible

  2. Thinlay says:

    I am grateful to our Majesty for maintaining calm and harmony in Bhutan and steering the wheel of functioning democracy. I think EC should now let all competent local government contestants to compete in the first ever LGE. Those contestant who did not de-register from political parties should do so if they wish to contest LGE; And such mistake must not be repeated.

    Long Live King, People and Country.

  3. Straight drive says:

    Dear Thinley,
    I think you have misunderstood the Royal Kasho. Our HM has clearly reminded us of our duty to nuture faith in Constitution as well as to obey the rule of law of our beloved country.

    Now I hope that the election commission will delay this election and encourage more to come forward and declare their candidature.

    I dont think we break our laws to allow these non eligible candidates to participate.

  4. Thinlay says:

    I do not think so. What the Kasho clearly stated is that EC should resolve current impasses between EC and LGE contestants in order to go ahead with LGE planned for 24 May. If they could resolve the issue before this date it is well and good; but the Kasho says LGE should be held with the trust and confidence of all grass roots contestants and voters so as to maintain peace, harmony and trust of people in the democratic system.

    Cheers

  5. YPenjor says:

    With deep respects, I pray, Long Live the Noble Monarch of the Kingdom of Bhutan!

    His Majesty’s Kasho has mandated EC to resolve the case and take the right decision before the LG election for the benefit of the people. The EC is therefore substantiated with the authority to exercise their duty in accordance with the Election Act. Going strictly by the Act, the disqualified candidates will not be eligible for the 24 May election….my interpretetion of the Royal Kasho!

  6. Thinlay says:

    Quote from Royal Kasho” However, the submissions made by the Prime Minister, the appeal by the disqualified candidates and the National Council’s stand, all indicate that the circumstances are less than conducive for successful Local Government elections. To conduct our first Local Government elections as a young democracy under such circumstances would hinder the growth of a strong vibrant democracy, and undermine the achievements we have made in our democratic transition. It would also tarnish the reputation that the Election Commission has rightly earned as a strong, just and independent institution. Therefore, while the Election Commission has always worked in the interest of the nation, and is striving today to conduct Local Government elections that have already been greatly delayed, it is advisable that they first resolve all issues before proceeding with the ongoing Local Government elections” unquote—–this statement from royal kasho.

    Cheers

  7. HM advised the EC to resolve the existing de-registration issue with the candidates.

    Long Live my beloved King.

  8. I don’t think it was a good idea for the Prime Minister and the National Assembly to get involved in this. The whole problem arose because they want local governments to be apolitical, but now, since those people got involved, it defeated the whole point of being apolitical. I am sure if those people are allowed to participate and get elected, they will return the favor during the next parliamentary elections.

    I still say don’t allow them to contest, because it would not be fair to the people who have followed the rules. I have read than more than 100 people have had their de-registration done in time and qualified to contest in the elections. We should not reward laziness and ignorance. We expect the best to compete in local elections, not people who cannot even complete their nomination according to the law. People like this cannot be trusted to handle local government affairs.

  9. Karma 1 says:

    The Kasho reflects the far sighted and visionary leadership of our beloved King.

    1. If the de-registered members of the parties are not allowed to contest LG elections, in future, most people will stay away from all political parties. This will hinder the growth of a vibrant democracy. As I mentioned earlier, for a democracy to be successful we need political parties, politicians, and people’s participation.

    2. By not allowing some capable leaders to contest the elections, we’ll be limiting the “Choice” for the voters.

    3. If ECB goes ahead with the present lot of their accepted candidates, there will be a lot of legal cases after the LG elections. I think, in the ECB’s accepted list, there are people who worked for political parties and have not actually fulfilled the cooling period requirement. Such a situation will disturb the unity and harmony in our society. (Precaution is better than cure).

    4. It would also tarnish ECB’s reputation because people may look at them as an arrogant institution that doesn’t care about the views and concerns of other important institutions in the country.

    Now, if because of the cooling period requirement in the Election Act, ECB is unable to let all the de-registered party members contest the elections, ECB should then decide to defer the LG elections. This decision may cause some short term inconveniences and extra expenditures, but in the long run it will be the right decision. Because then, we won’t be breaking any laws and at the same we’ll not be hindering the growth of a vibrant democracy at the grassroots. We also won’t have to wait for long, because, I think, the National Assembly had already deleted the cooling period requirement from the Election bill and is just waiting for NC’s endorsement.

  10. YPenjor says:

    Dear OL, if you can be frank with your interpretetion of the Royal Kasho….you know best as the drafting machine or being a part of it.

    Save your blog readers from loosing their hair!

  11. Listen guys

    During 2008 election both the parties went from door to door begging people to be member and they failed to educate people with what would happen if they want to contest in LG election. And now both the parties are not in the position to help. The present government has the power to Increase salary for their MPs, they have power to give CDGs and they have power to increase tax. Now when these innocent people who wants to do something for the country, the Political parties turn their back.

    ECB is at fault to…. ECB should have announced a year back saying if anyone joining LG election should resign from Parties say. But they failed to do so… they suddenly come up with the election and says they should not be member of political parties.

    How does this work? Just by de registering from Parties do you guys think that the person is apolitical. Do you think its just enough for somebody to have de registered in paper… com on this is all cows shit. I think what the ECB can do is let people join the LG election but than what they have to do is monitor them otherwise it’s not gonna work. For example if I join the LG election I would have easily got a letter from my party saying I am derigistered but than my heart would always be for them.

  12. YPenjor says:

    Linda, please read carefully the first sentence of the Royal Kasho presented here by OL to clarify yourself that political parties did not “turn their back” to the disqualified candidates. Prime Minister is the President of the DPT. When he submits the issue of the disqualified candidates on behalf of the NC, NA and the two political parties, how can you say the political parties have turned their back. The PM on his own also has taken up the matter with ECB. Not being succesful in reasoning out with ECB at the government level, he has submitted the case for HM’s consideration. On this submission the Royal Kasho has been granted to ECB to review their action and the provisions of the Election Act.

    Yes, everyone; the ECB, the poli parties, the individual LG candidates themselves have committed a mistake, but, correction measures are underway. May 24 is almost 3 weeks away and necessary steps are being taken to reach a justified decision. Such a noble move in politics will never happen in other countries. So, do not unnecessarily jump into such dumb conclusions before understanding what actually is happening.

    And be very clear that “Linda, Tom, Dick and Harry” will never get a chance to join politics or LG elections in Bhutan. Enough wise Bhutanese are available to take up the seats.

  13. MR. Y Penjor If they have not turned their back.. why bother his Majesty the King.

  14. raw 000 says:

    many problems in the upcoming LGE.
    1) abrupt decision for LGE after long delay.
    2) No postal ballot for primary round
    3) verification of document and disqualification only after primary round
    4) no document required for candidate to participate in primary round- people who can’t fulfill election criteria were also participated in primary round.
    5) many eligible candidate were defeated by party workers in primary round. Can ECB conduct primary round in the chiewog where they have disqualified their candidate

  15. YPenjor says:

    Dear Linda, for your understanding, in Bhutan, HM the King is considered above the Law. Since Government is not above the Law, PM could not command Election Commission to give due considerations when EC made their stand on the basis of the Election Act. The only option left for PM was to submit the case to His Majesty for a Royal Command. This way, the PM on behalf of the government and the two political parties have done what he could do…he has never turned his back. If PM had either not paid any heed or turned down the request of the disqualified candidates from his Chair then the government and the political parties can be accused of turning their back.

    Further, our beloved Majesty did not exercise his Royal Authority ingenuously. As explained in the Royal Kasho, HM nobly wished to upheld the sustainability of the democracy system in the Kingdom. Therefore, HM commanded the EC to revisit the Laws and solve the problem uphelding the Laws and democracy. The only direct but reasonable command was to solve the problem before the scheduled LG elections.

    Long live His Majesty the King!

  16. His Majestry has already ordered ECB to resolve the issue and go ahead with the election. But what ECB is waiting for. We really don’t understand what Kunzang Wangdi is again waiting for…

  17. What raw 000 said was very importatnt to be noted by the ECB. From it, we know the ECB has not done proper home work. Had it taken care of what raw 000, no problems would have arisen.

    raw 000, I appreciate you.

  18. YPenjor says:

    The ECB has differed the LG election date to 27 June 2011.

    Now, the issue is, will the disqualified candidates become eligible in one month time to contest in LG election. If the Election Act specifies eligibility criteria of one year after delinking from a political party (through announcement of the resignation in media), will the disqualified candidates complete one year by June 27…the resignation in the media is still not announced.

  19. as we all know ECB has failed the LG election right from the beginning. i don’t think ECB has the power to control the metshi of the general public as when they like and misuse the KAsho.
    its the time to cleanup mess you have created and accept your(chair person) resignation before its too.

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