Politics of LG elections

The local government elections are over. And the new gups – the heads of local governments – have started taking their charge throughout the country.

But a dozen gewogs still don’t have gups.

Goenshari in Punakha yielded a two-way tie. The election results in Bjabcho in Chukha was nullified as the winning candidate turned out to be overaged. And elections for Gongdue in Mongar could not be conducted as the lone candidate was disqualified for violating electoral laws.

So elections for Goenshari’s two candidates will be repeated. And elections will be conducted in Bjabcho and Gondue.

The remaining 9 gewogs don’t have gups yet, because the election results in these gewogs are being contested. And cases have been registered against the winning gups of these 9 gewogs.

I find one of these cases particularly disturbing. The winning gup of Tendu, Samtse has been alleged to have received help from an uncle who apparently is a DPT party worker.

If this is true, it is a flagrant violation of electoral laws. Local governments are nonpartisan. And political parties should not attempt to influence local governments in any way.

The Samtse dzongkhag court will, no doubt, hear the case carefully.

But because a political party has allegedly been involved, it may also make sense for the Election Commission to investigate the case separately.


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  1. yes, the tendru gup issue does seem to be disturbing..the very fact that the district court has allowed for it to be registered in court means there is something to be addressed..instead of duplicating tasks, ecb could await the court verdict & pursue, if necessary..but if the allegation is proven true then ecb should adhere to the laws in force & act without fear or favor..

  2. jamlepis says

    The so called “apolitical” will be in theory only and practically it is impossible to implement…Democracy is all about election and choosing leaders, and election involves politics; thus politics will be there in LG election whether one like it or not….people should do background checking for the elected gups and i won’t be surprised if majority of the elected gups were dpt supporter in 2008……

  3. Dear OL,

    There are two issues.

    One: Local governments are nonpartisan and political parties should not attempt to influence local governments in any way.

    Two: In democratic system of governance every one has a right to vote and campaign for his own candidate.

    I am really confused on status of an individual in all these theories. An individual who is supporter/affiliated to a political party, if he supports and campaigns for a candidate in local government elections without using any of the resources of the political party (as his personal choice), where does he stands? By being affiliated with a political party does an individual loses his personal rights personal rights.

    We have to admit that in remote areas there are very few LEADERS. These leaders are mostly members of the same family/clan. What happens if a brother is a member of political party and another brother is chosen by the people to contest in local government elections.

    Lastly, How come helping someone campaign for elections amount to influencing the local government? This assistance is much before actual setup of local goverment. The government thus elected is under oath to serve the people and not fall under any influence. I am sure similar oath our ministers and other representatives also take and more importantly WE ALL trust these people on basis of this oath only (there is no Bond/Mortgage signed by the politician). So why shouldn’t we trust the local government candidate to be apolitical after being under oath?

    In my opinion, we should immediately revisit the useless and impractical provisions or we should read these provisions in the actual letter and spirit for which they were meant.

    Just a thought…

  4. This posting is OL’s personal opinion. Therefore not necessary to be agreed by everyone.

    As explained by Mibang, what is important is that the elected Local leader lives upto to the value of the Oath. In order to ensure that the right candidate (the capable person) gets the post, campaigning by relatives, friends and folks of same community is required and nothing is seen wrong. No one can remain apolitical especially during the election moment. With the right to vote, everyone will have an interest in winning by the desired candidate and in the process will obviously campaign for his/her candidate openly or silently. As long as people are not lured through bribery, threat and cheating, nothing is seen wrong in campaigning with justifications on the capability of the candidate.

  5. Whatever said and done, I don’t think every individual is apolitical during the election campaign and at the time of voting. Since we are all not liberated from this samsara, how can one remain apolitical. Therefore, the arguement of one being a DPT or PDP party worker assisting someone close to him/her during the LG election is nonsense. If one wants to win an election, he/she has to be assisted by the close friends and relatives. Otherwise why stand as a candidate and contest in any of the election, be it parliamentary of LG.


    the politics/ no npolitics cases are a test for our judicary in our new democracy. the trend the judicary sets will determine how democracy will work in bhutan in a unique way or just like thet in the region.

  7. frankly speaking says

    it is an unofficial symbosis relationship at village level. helping each other to get elected. you help me now, so that i will help you later.

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