English | Dzongkha Tuesday, February 25, 2020

DNT lodges three complaints against DPT

Phub Gyem, Thimphu
Oct 9, 2018

The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) lodged three complaints with the election commission against the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) yesterday.

One of the complaints concerns a WeChat voice message by a DPT coordinator from Dramedtse-Ngatshang Constituency in Monggar.

The DNT has accused him of having said in a WeChat group that China would intervene in Bhutan’s internal peace and policy matters if DPT loses the election.

He is also accused to have claimed the recent stand-off at Doklam was settled only after the former DPT president intervened.

“This is a matter of grave concern for us at DNT in view of the use of foreign relations, geopolitics and circulating fabricated information with regard to another nation to further political mileage and gain votes,” a news release from DNT stated.

The DPT coordinator’s act, DNT says, contravenes section 4.4 of ECB’s Social Media Rules and Regulations.

The section states no individual shall communicate, transmit or post hate messages, or any other content with the intent to defame or reduce the electoral chances of an opposing contestant or political party.

The second complaint is against a WeChat conversation involving two truck drivers in Pema Gatshel.

“The truckers, who are evidently DPT supporters, have tailgated DNT president’s car while travelling to Pema Gatshel with the intention of throwing him and his colleagues off Melong brak (cliff),” Phurba, the General Secretary of DNT, stated in the complaint letter.

The incident reportedly happened on October 4.

“While president and team sensed immense pressure and rush from the two trucks tailing from behind, which stormed with speed, it was only after the WeChat conversation came to our notice that we realised it was intentional,” the complaint letter added.

DNT says such a threat is not only a breach of electoral laws but also of criminal nature, and that it has put the party president and supporters in a state of fear, creating an unequal level playing field for the party.

Further, citing section 293(d) of the Election Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan that every Political Party and Candidate shall ensure that their supporters do not indulge in any unlawful act or corrupt practice,  the DNT called for a cancellation of nomination of candidate.

The other complaint is against Ugyen Wangdi, DPT’s candidate from Dramedtse_Ngatshang constituency in Monggar.

Ugyen Wangdi is accused of having sent a voice message in a WeChat group, asking people from his constituency residing in Wangdue Phodrang to vote from facilitation booths in Thimphu by claiming to be employed in the capital.

He has also allegedly helped the voters with registration for the postal ballot and facilitation booth services. This, DNT says, is a violation of the electoral laws and undermines the principle of free and fair election.

The ECB’s legal officer said the commission is studying the complaints.

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