Bhutan’s election authorities today successfully completed the process to elect a new Parliament after the country’s second national polls saw the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) storm to power. Bhutan Election Commission (BEC) formally submitted the list of 47 winners of the country’s second national elections to King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, culminating the first stage of the democratic process in the Himalayan nation in which Tshering Tobgay-led PDP secured a two-thirds majority. On Saturday, the PDP won the national elections with a massive mandate and captured 32 seats. The country’s new opposition party Druk Phuensum Tshogpa will have 15 members in the House. The peaceful elections were marked by a heavy voter turnout of 80%. This is the second national polls in Bhutan after the country became a democracy in 2008 before which it was a monarchy.
Articles about voting issues in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Bhutan’s opposition People’s Democratic Party appears to have won an upset victory in parliamentary elections Saturday. The country’s Election Commission says on its website that the party has won at least 31 of the 47 seats being contested in the vote for parliament, while the incumbent Peace and Prosperity Party won at least 14 seats. Election Commission officials will announce the official results on Sunday. The PDP needed 24 of the 47 seats to form the next government.
Voters in the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan will begin electing their second ever government this week, five years after the country’s Buddhist “dragon kings” gave way to democracy. The electorate of less than 400,000 people will choose from four parties on Friday when the primary round of voting for the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, commences. The two most popular parties will then contest a run-off round on July 13 to form the next government. Bhutan, which is landlocked by Asian giants India to the south and China to the north, held its first election in 2008 after the monarchy ceded absolute power and actively led the move to a parliamentary democracy. In the 2008 vote, the centre-right Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), drawn from the country’s traditional elite, won a huge landslide and secured 45 of 47 seats available against the People’s Democratic Party. This time two new centre-left parties, both led by women, are joining the contest, but the well-established DPT is generally expected to win by a small margin — although opinion polls are banned.
Bhutan begins its second-ever parliamentary election on Friday, after polling officials trekked for up to seven days to reach voters in the most remote corners of the Himalayan kingdom. Bhutanease wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Thimphu on April 23, 2013. Bhutan begins its second-ever parliamentary election on Friday, after polling officials trekked for up to seven days to reach voters in the most remote corners of the Himalayan kingdom. While the electorate comprises fewer than 400,000 people, voting is a huge logistical challenge across the rugged terrain, where democracy was ushered in just five years ago after Bhutan’s “dragon kings” ceded absolute power. Armed with satellite phones to send in results, polling staff have braved heavy rains and slippery leech-infested trails to ensure that even isolated yak-owning nomads can cast their vote, the national Kuensel newspaper reported.
People in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan were cementing their young democracy Tuesday by voting in the nation’s second parliamentary election. The remote nation of 700,000 had its first election in 2008 after the king voluntarily reduced the monarchy’s role in running the country. A total of 67 candidates were competing Tuesday for the 20 elected seats in the 25-member upper house. The five remaining seats are filled by royal appointment. The candidates were running without party affiliation. However, five parties will contest polls for the more influential lower house, expected in June. Only two parties contested the 2008 election, when the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa won a landslide victory.
Nestled in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan conjures up images of peace and tranquility. Indeed, it is a country of serene and striking geographic beauty. But this setting brings with it an isolation that kept Bhutan politically sealed off from the rest of the world as an absolute monarchy until 2008, when it became a democracy. Over the next couple of months Bhutan will take steps towards further consolidating its fledgling democracy. Its people will vote first for the National Council (the upper house of parliament) and then the National Assembly (the lower house). This is the second time in their country’s history that the Bhutanese will be voting in parliamentary elections. Voting for the 25-member Council will take place on April 23. While voting dates for the more influential Assembly are yet to be announced, they are expected in June.
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan will go to polls for the second time in its history next month for elections which will consolidate its transformation to democracy, according to a royal decree. A vote for the 25-member upper house will take place on April 23, said the decree which was posted online. An election date for the larger and more influential lower house has yet to be announced but is widely expected in May. “It is important that all voters take their right and duty seriously, exercise their franchise and choose the most competent and deserving candidate as their representative,” said the decree.
Five years ago the remote Himalayan state of Bhutan turned from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, making it the youngest democracy on earth. Looking back at the developments since the transition, the democratization of Bhutan was a success story despite a few shortcomings. Come March 2013, and Bhutan will be set fair for its second round of parliamentary elections. While the past five years have been an exploratory phase for Bhutan, in terms of experimenting with and internalizing democratic norms, they nevertheless bear witness to the fact that the formal structures of democracy have indeed taken root in Bhutan. The criteria for assessing the success of democratization towards the end of the fifth year should be gauging the spread of the ‘effective components’ of democracy. One still often comes across the description of “democracy as a gift” (kidu) from the King, but any kind of analysis reveals that the process of democratization has indeed given rise to various stakeholders in the internal politics of Bhutan. How far the internal democratic space impinges on Bhutan’s foreign policy orientations is yet to be seen in the years to come.
Bhutan: Only electronic voting machine error complaints, and appeals, fall within the purview of the Bhutan judiciary | kuenselonline
The judiciary, henceforth, will not accept any election-related dispute that crops up during the election period, except complaints pertaining to error of electronic voting machine. The election laws, according to a recent election related guideline issued to all courts in Bhutan by the Supreme Court (SC), were enacted barring the jurisdiction of the courts in all election matters during the election period. “Therefore, any problems or complaints related to the election period must be decided by the election dispute settlement bodies at the district, national and the election commission, with the opportunity to appeal to the court only as a last resort,” stated the guideline signed by chief justice Sonam Tobgye.
The election dispute settlement rules and regulations, 2009 defines Election Period as the period beginning on the day of issue of notification, and ending with the declaration of results. It also states that “A court of law shall, in order to provide an uninterrupted election process in the kingdom, not have jurisdiction to question the legality of any action taken or of any decision given by the commission or its officers or by any other person under this rules and regulations, during the election period.”
“Since the provisions of the Election Act, 2008 and the election settlement rules and regulations ousted the jurisdiction of the court, it is the responsibility of the election dispute settlement bodies to accept and decide any problems or complaints related to the election period,” a SC justice said.
Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. S. Y. Quraishi visited Bhutan from 16th – 18th September 2011 at the invitation of his counterpart Dasho Kunzang Wangdi for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two Election Commissions. He was accompanied by Akshay Rout, Director General.
The two Chief Election Commissioners signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a period of five years to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experience, information, material, expertise and technical knowhow, training of personnel and development of human resources in electoral matters and also for taking up joint initiatives and providing assistance to others.