Press Release

འབྲུག་གི་བཙག་འཐུ་ལྷན་ཚོགས།

ELECTION COMMISSION OF BHUTAN

(Ensuring Free, Fair & Democratic Elections & Referendums)

ECB/CEC-04/2018/5257

Declaration of the Results of the National Council Elections 2018 

The Election Commission of Bhutan is pleased to inform the people of Bhutan that the Polls for the National Council Elections for Third Parliamentary Elections conducted in the 20 Dzongkhags were successfully conducted yesterday, 20th of April 2018.

Registered Voter Numbers

There were a total of 432,030 of which 220,881 (51.13%) are female and 211,149 (48.87%) are male registered voters in the 20 Dzongkhags. Out of this 88,915 registered as Postal Voters.

Dhamngoi Zomdu

A total of 289 Dhamngoi Zomdus were conducted in the 20 Dzongkhags. A total of 177 (8 female and 169 male) aspiring candidates stood for selection in the Dhamngoi Zomdus. A total of 63,216 (33,045 female and 30,171 male) voters participated in the Dhamngoi Zomdus.

Contesting Candidates

A total of 127 (6 female and 121 male) Candidates contested in the National Council Elections.

Common Forum

A total of 313 Common Forums were conducted in the 20 Dzongkhags from 23rd of March 2018 to 16th of April 2018 for the Candidates to address the voters.

A total of 34,010 (17,945 female and 16,065 male) voters attended the Common Forums.

 Overall Voter Turn Out of the Election

A total of 169,623 out of which 89,316 female (52.65%) and 80,307 male (47.34%) cast their votes in person on the Electronic Voting Machines and a total of 64,912 of which 26,493 female (40.81%) and 38,419 male (59.18%) voted through Postal Ballot.

The Voter Turnout Percentage is 54.3%.

Elected Candidates

It is an honour to submit to the Nation that a  total of 20 Candidates, 2 female (10%) and 18 male (90%) have been  elected as members of the National Council of the Third Parliament of  Bhutan.

The Member-Elects offer the Nation a combination of talents, skills and experience with 11 Member-Elects in their 30’s, 6 in 40’s and 3 in 50’s in terms of age. In terms of academic qualification, 9 Member-Elects have Master’s degree while 11 have Bachelor’s degree, with work background and experience ranging from 5 being incumbent Members of Parliament (National Council), 4 with teaching experience, 4 from business background, 3 from the civil service, 1 each with experience in the Media, law, entertainment industry and Parliamentary experience in the National Assembly.

Postal Ballot

A total of 88,915 (37,464 female and 51,451 male) voters registered for Postal Ballot. The details are as follows: 

  1. Conventional Postal Ballot

Out of 28,325 registered Postal Voters, 7,463 are female and 20,862 male.

  1. Postal Ballot Facilitation and Mobile Booth

Out of 60,590 (30,001 female and 30,589 male) registered Postal Voters for the Postal Ballot Facilitation and Mobile Booths, a total of 42,441 (20,637 female and 21,804 male) turned out to cast their vote with 699 (65 female and 634 male) casting their vote in 9 Mobile Facilitation Booths and the rest in the 69 Facilitation Booths in the 20 Dzongkhags.

  1. 3. 275 Postal Ballots were reported as rejected during the counting. 

Polling Stations

The Polls on 20th of April 2018 were conducted in 866 Polling Stations in the Country where Electronic Voting Machines were used.

Polling Officials 

A total of 6,168 Polling Officials were deployed for the National Council Elections, including the Poll Day on 20th of April 2018, as follows:

  1. Chief Election Coordinators: 20
  2. Deputy Chief Election Coordinators: 39
  3. Assistant Election Coordinators: 205
  4. Other Dzongkhag Dispute Settlement Bodies Members: 40
  5. National Observers: 20
  6. Micro Observers: 27
  7. Returning Officers:20
  8. Assistant Returning Officers: 27
  9. Presiding Officers: 866
  10. Polling Officers: 2,598
  11. Polling Assistants: 866
  12. Lady Security: 866
  13. Office of Media Arbitrator: 3
  14. Social Media Monitors: 22
  15. Legal Officers: 3
  16. Booth Officials : 469 (Postal Ballot Facilitation and Mobile Booths)
  17. Independent Observers :77 for Postal Ballot Booths

9 National media agencies were accredited to cover the elections.

A total of 2 International Observers from Election Commission of India observed the Election.

Election Dispute

A total of 8 election disputes were received and decided through the Election Dispute System comprising of the three tiers of the Dzongkhag Election Dispute Settlement Body, Central Election Dispute Settlement Body and the Election Commission of Bhutan. One case was lodged on the eve of the Poll Day from Samtse Dzongkhag which has been dismissed due to inconclusive evidence. However, expenditures would be scrutinized as per procedure.

Budget

Total Estimated cost of the National Council Election is Nu. 250 Million out of which Nu. 19.050 Million was disbursed to the Candidates as Public Election Campaign Fund.

All the sponsored advertising including the Public Debates, Television, Radio and Print advertisement as well as Common Forum in each Gewogs were conducted as provided under the Laws.

The general public is advised that the Election Commission Petition period starts from 21st of April  2018 and shall end on 8th of May 2018 at 5.00 p.m.

We would like to report that the elections of the Third National Council went smoothly with active participation of the electorates with no major problems encountered in the Polling Stations except in Sidpa NFE Polling Station under Largyab Gewog of Dagana Dzongkhag where the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) had to be replaced after the control unit showed Press Error. However, 65 votes that were cast in the earlier EVM were counted successfully and Polls could be resumed smoothly.

A total of 11 voters turned up in Pemaling Gewog Centre Polling Station under Samtse Dzongkhag with the old Voter Photo Identity Cards (VPIC) whereby election officials facilitated with timely issuance of New VPIC for them to exercise their franchise.

A total of 26 voters have been included in the supplementary list to the final Electoral Roll since they were wrongly marked as Religious Personalities in the Voter’s List.

The Election Commission of Bhutan attributes the success of the Third National Council elections to the voters who turned out to vote, the entire team of dedicated election officials, security personnel and polling officers who worked tirelessly with commitment and enthusiasm. We would also like to acknowledge the support rendered by various Ministries, Departments, Dzongkhag, Corporations, Gewog Administrations and the Media Agencies to the Election Commission in the discharge of its functions.

Above all, the Election Commission of Bhutan offers its deepest gratitude to His Majesty The King, His Majesty the Druk Gyal Zhipa and His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the Monastic Community for their blessings for the successful conduct of the Third National Council Election. 

 

(Chogyal Dago Rigdzin) 

Chief Election Commissioner

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