Letter trail

Several of you (Pro Media, Zamtap, Sonam, Kudrung and Kids) have asked me to post the letter that Lyonpo Khandu and Dasho Chencho wrote soliciting financial assistance from people who are not registered members of their party. One reader, Kids, almost begged: “I sincerely request your excellency to share the letters with us.”

There’s no law prohibiting me from posting the letters (one in Dzongkha, the same in English). Yet, I feel uncomfortable. So please bear with me. But, be assured that my reluctance to post the letters here is not because I don’t want to share the evidence, so to speak. I just don’t feel comfortable.

One reader, however, obviously had a copy of the letter. This is part of what Rinzin wrote in defending the fund raising efforts of the DPT MPs: “The last paragraph of the letter reads ‘Kindly note that the Election Commission of Bhutan(ECB) in consideration of the financial difficulties faced by political parties have raised the maximum ceiling of an individual contribution from Nu.100,000 to 500,000. Please also note that in accordance with the Laws, your contribution will be adjusted as;
i. Registration fees,
ii. Membership fees,
iii. Balance as your contribution.”’

The “last paragraph” that Rinzin reproduced in fact proves otherwise. “…your contribution will be adjusted as: i. Registration fees,…..” is evidence that the letter was sent to people who have not paid registration fees. People who haven’t paid registration fees are not registered members of their party. And they had no business soliciting contributions from them.

I repeat: Section 146(c) of the Election Act states that a political party may be dissolved if “it has solicited or resorted to collection of funds from private individuals or any agency other than from its registered members.”

I’ve forwarded the letters to the ECB today. I’m confident that they’ll take it up from there.