The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Monday, September 18, 2006

Bhutan citizens to vote twice for new government-Dasho Kunzang Wangdi

Bhutan citizens to vote twice for new government

Thimphu, Sep 18:

Bhutanese citizens above 18 years will vote twice when elections for a new government are held in 2008, officials here said."The first vote will be during the primary round and the second during the general election," said Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi.Explaining the procedures of the elections, Wangdi said the primary round would be open to all political parties registered with the commission who fulfil the conditions laid down by it.He said although any number of parties could be formed at the primary level all parties should have national representation."A party should have a charter depending on the ideology or principle that it is going to adopt. The charter has to be accepted by the Election Commission when it is being registered," Wangdi was quoted as saying by Bhutan's national newspaper Kuensel."A party will have to present its manifesto during the running and active members of a party who try to get a seat in parliament will be assigned the duty of running."According to the draft constitution of Bhutan, the two political parties with the highest number of votes in the primary election will be declared eligible to contest in the general election.The two parties would then have to nominate their candidates for seats in parliament with the one getting the maximum seats in parliament forming the government.Officials have said people could informally form parties and campaign as long as they do not go against the present laws.

--- IANS

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