Illegal, immoral, dangerous

Three months ago, some PDP members in Paro received a letter. The letter was signed jointly by the DPT MPs from Paro: Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk and Dasho Chencho Dorji. The letter, which apparently targeted businessmen, asked the recipients for financial support to run the DPT office in Paro.

Article 15.4(d) of the Constitution declares that political parties can only accept money or assistance made by its registered members. And, 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.” Furthermore, Section 54 of the National Assembly Act clearly states that “A member shall not resort to any form of fund raising from individuals or any agency.”

So, what Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk and Dasho Cencho did – solicit funds, by letter, from people who are not registered members of their party – is most probably illegal.

But what they did is morally wrong too. Members of a ruling party sent letters to members of a very weak opposition asking them to make financial contributions and to join their party.

And what Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk did is dangerous. When the minister for economic affairs solicits donations from businessmen, it might easily be construed as outright corruption.

Illegal, immoral, dangerous: I’m forced to write to ECB about this.