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State funding for political parties not necessary says NC

Jan 4 2012

It is not necessary to give state funding to the political parties at least at this point of time. This is the finding of a thorough study conducted by the National Council.

The study was conducted to help resolve whether state funding is required for democracy to succeed in the Kingdom.

The issue has been debated time and again and for years ever since the kingdom held the historic parliamentary elections and the first democratically elected government was formed.

Its supporters argue that without state funding the political parties will not be able to sustain themselves financially.

Political parties are allowed to raise money only through registration and membership fees and voluntary contributions from members.

Both the ruling Druk Phuensum Tshogpa and the opposition People’s Democratic Party had to burrow hefty amounts of money from the bank to pay off their debts.

The critics however disagree pointing out that providing state funding will only strengthen the existing political parties making it impossible for new parties to emerge and limiting the choice of the people.

The study conducted by the National Council acknowledging the problems faced by the political parties.

“The bottom line here is, although the political parties do seems to have problems, to the committee it appears that it is within the system and therefore it could be addressed without taking major steps,” said Sangay Khandu, the chairperson of the governance committee of the National Council.

The study has come up with nine recommendations to overcome the financial constraints faced by the parties.

The completed report will be presented to the parliament during this session.

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