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Bhutan's Second Thromde Election and its e-Waste

Photo Courtesy: Kuensel
As it had announced earlier, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) successfully conducted the Second Thromde elections in Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelephu on January 25, 2016. Two Thromdes of Gelephu and Phuentsholing elected new thrompons while Thimphu managed to retain their first. 

Unlike in the past not many candidates contested this election. As a result voting had to be carried out by asking people to press either "Yes" or "No" on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). Moreover, voter turnout trend is unsatisfactory.  

Many representatives were fruitfully elected this time. However, two lone candidates in Phuentsholing Thromde election were voted out. Tirtha Maya Mongar of Pekarzhing Demkhong secured 62 'yeses' and 64 'no' votes. Likewise, Rinchending constituency's Tshogpa candidate Tshering Wangdi had received support from only 19 voters while 36 were against him. I feel sorry for the two candidates. Such a pity that their voters fielded no candidates against them and yet voted them "No". Or did the voters accidentally press the wrong buttons on the EVMs? 

From Election Commission of Bhutan Notification
It is a sheer waste. I call it e-waste. It is a waste that results from elections that have gone wrong. It is a waste of human resources for it takes more than money to conduct these elections. It is a waste of people's time and energy. Business houses have to be closed to allow free and fair elections. It means losses to these establishments. 

According to the ECB "Elections in the vacant Demkhongs shall be undertaken in [the] due course of time." I am curious - can the two candidates recontest in the re-elections? What if they not only contest in the reelection but win the elections? It will be interesting to wait and watch!  

So, how do we avoid such e-wastes? This is because we are going to have many elections in future where we would be unable to elect the required representatives. If people do not support a candidate, it is only proper that they field in a candidate that they would support and vote in. Isn't it a crazy idea to go to the polling station and vote "No"? That's an exercise in vain and defeats the whole purpose of going there.

Comments

  1. I am not sure how this voting would justify its accuracy as we still use the traditional paper ballots. The problem is corruption and cheating still exists, so rigging the electronic results is easiest.
    Our candidates also had to use money to lure people just to turn up to cast their votes. The world is getting sick to the core these days. So much killings as well and many become homeless victims. Sad.

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