KuenselOnline

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 - 4:54 AM
yangpheljan3.gif

Elections.2

ZOOM: + - Reset

Reports from some parts of the interiors indicate that there is no frenzy yet, like there was six winters ago, in the run up to the first general elections in March 2008.

Compared to the winter of 2007, the winter of 2012 is quieter, and perhaps colder as well, because of the cold wave sweeping across parts of northern India.

But if one actually goes back to the run up to the 2008 elections, the electorate did not willingly embrace the transition to the new political system, of electing candidates from newly formed political parties to form the government.

Awareness programmes had to be conducted, including a mock election.  But the first two political parties did have certain things put in place that helped the election fever finally catch on, and even create divisions.

By October 2007, both parties were registered.  They also had a chance to go around the countryside on a so-called familiarisation round, because they were the first of the political parties, followed by a campaign round later.

For the 2013 elections, except for the ruling party, the others are still getting candidates together.  The new political groups are yet to be registered.

But the elections are going to be held, and it looks like they will happen just when the monsoon is in full force, and travel becomes difficult and the agriculture season is at its peak.

With the last parliament session to be done with by February end, there is word that the government will not take any major decisions after that.

Does this mean the elected government will sit in office and wait for their five-year term to wind up?  Ministers will probably use this time to make field visits to their constituencies on government budget and informally campaign, which has, in a way, already begun.

If this is going to be the case, the government should be dissolved after the last parliament session, not only to save government resources, but also in the interest and convenience of the people. Dissolving earlier would mean the election day could also move forward by at least a month, and make it more convenient for the electorate.

Such a step would have to be done in consultation with the election commission of Bhutan, although it may sound unconstitutional.

Some assembly members are not for early dissolution, because they fear they may not get their retirement benefits; but such a situation should not arise, if the entire government is dissolved.

This move may be only a one-time solution for the next election.  Since there are no fixed election dates, it appears that future elections could continue to face this problem of falling in the wrong time.

Still, the immediate issue at hand is the next election and those, who are in a position to do so, could at least try and work out a solution.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.