CDG and future elections

Free and fair?

Free and fair?

I called on our Chief Election Commissioner yesterday. I called on him to report that the CDG, if implemented as proposed, will compromise the ECB’s ability to conduct future elections to the National Assembly in a free and fair manner. The Constitution (Article 24.1) and the Election Act (Chapter 3.34) specifically require the Election Commission of Bhutan to conduct elections “in a free and fair manner.”

Why would CDG hinder free and fair elections? Through CDG, our government places Nu 10 million at the disposal of the members of the National Assembly. How that money is used in their respective constituencies is finally up to MP from that constituency. The MP concerned has the authority to suggest project ideas, to consider all project proposals, to approve projects, and to divert funds from projects already approved that the MP may find unsatisfactory.

These are sweeping executive powers for MPs, members of a legislature that is not permitted to encroach on the executive’s powers. And, given the opportunity, MPs will use these State resources to maximize political gain. And the ECB’s ability to conduct future National Assembly elections “in a free and fair manner” would be seriously compromised.

I also reported to the Chief Election Commissioner that the CDG may constitute Office of Profit since MPs would have “powers of disbursement of State funds…” as described in the Election Act {Chapter 9.164(c)}. This particular Office of Profit, according to the Election Act, is not permitted, and may provide sufficient grounds to disqualify sitting members of parliament {Chaper 9.167(b)}

I’m hopeful that the ECB looks into this matter immediately, before some of us, eager MPs, get ourselves in trouble.

 

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Comments

  1. Why not move a referendum on this? Let us hear what the real people say.

  2. Yes, we want a referendum and the PM must step down if he is so bent on the CDG.

  3. Linda Wangmo says:

    Dear OL

    All you write is complain complain and complain but you never write what the concerned people say. We wnat to hear what the ECB said to your complain and also the response from our neyul tse Lynpo. If at all none of the concerned people help than before the matter is too late i guess you need to do chapheshey to our majestey. I think the last soloution is you will have to resign and let the DPT do whatever they like.

    • Dear Linda Wangmo: We need to give both ECB and MOF some time to consider our concerns carefully. I’m sure they’ll respond in due time. FYI, Finance Minister said that I’m entitled to my views and that he would submit my concerns to the cabinet (which met on Tuesday). Our Chief Election Commissioner said that he is concerned, but that he would study the matter very carefully before venturing an opinion. Let’s see what they say. and consider our other options, before giving up fully.

  4. I see CDG as institutionalized corruption, practised also in some poverty-stricken countries (African countries for eaxmple. There is no CDG in America, Britain or Frances, the world’s better democracies. Thus, I supported the OL for taking initiative to block CDG. Anyway, DPT has been for DPT and not for Bhutan. I am utterly dissapointed by the actions of DPT so far.

  5. Phumzor says:

    Why our Lyonchen is totally for CDG fund, is it coz he is also a part of CDG recipient? Will he support for CDG if he is in OL’s chair? When the whole citizen of bhutan are against the CDG, it would definately invite a problem. So better think back before it gets late.

    • Phumzor: As a member of the national assembly, OL also gets the CDG. But OL opposes CDG on principle. It’s wrong. And if OL is in PM’s chair, PM (who would be in OL’s chair) would not have to object to CDG. That’s because if the OL is in PM’s chair, CDG wouldn’t be even considered. CDG is dangerous. CDG is unconstitutional.

  6. Dear Linda; the NC had already done the Chapsashey long before OL took up the cause.
    Dear Phoja, CDG with the same name does not exist but under different names, it does in many successful democracies. Please take time to visit the websites of western countries and some of the more succesful ones in Asia. Forget Africa and forget DPT and think it is PDP in power!

  7. Phumzor says:

    Honorable OL, thank you for the clearification.
    We need not have to wait for Free & Fare election till 2013, our voracious MPs have already started influnceing the local government leaders. They have indirectly instructed where to utilize the fund before it has actually been released. Ours MPs would dare to deposit the CDG in their personnal account if given the chance. Therefore, only folish may believe that crazy bhutanese politician Will not poke their hand in CDG. Believe me.

  8. OL,
    Have you taken up the issue of CDG to ACC? One of the key roles of ACC is to prevent corruption. CDG is very very prone. I just feel ACC should be seriously involved.

    Currently, ACC is very silent. WHY?

  9. The CDG is a sting operation: clandestine by nature and covert, absolutely covert.
    I hope the DPT get it through and have this unconstitutional worm infected deep in their bellies- when it starts eating them from the inside out, they’d have realized the heavy cost of trading ‘a second political term for a CGI sheet.’
    No matter how they spin it, its political fiction. When realization sets in that they are blatantly hampering with the Constitution and Local Governance, the blow-back is gonna hurt.
    G W Bush was told ‘If its not broken, don’t fix it’. We all know what happened to the indomitable GOP- they lost and more pertinently, the average American citizenry paid dearly, as did the Middle-East. As for the evil terrorists, well, recruitment has never been better! Nothing breeds vengeance like war, hunger, unemployment, poverty, injustice et al.
    The CDG is veiled Hoover-nism and House Un-American Activities- if you’ll excuse me the lame expression!

  10. The CDG is a sting operation: clandestine by nature and covert, absolutely covert.
    I hope the DPT get it through and have this unconstitutional worm infected deep in their bellies- when it starts eating them from the inside out, they’d have realized the heavy cost of trading ‘a second political term for a CGI sheet.’
    No matter how they spin it, its political fiction. When realization sets in that they are blatantly hampering with the Constitution and Local Governance, the blow-back is gonna hurt.
    G W Bush was told ‘If its not broken, don’t fix it’. We all know what happened to the indomitable GOP- they lost and more pertinently, the average American citizenry paid dearly, as did the Middle-East. As for the evil terrorists, well, recruitment has never been better! Nothing breeds vengeance like war, hunger, unemployment, poverty, injustice et al.
    The CDG is veiled Hoover-nism and House Un-American Activities- if you’ll excuse me the lame expression!

    PS: Me Loving The No* Plate That Doth Declareth:
    “The MP of The Parliament”.
    Take a Bow, Fellas, Take a Bow!

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