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Nation goes to the polls

Finally, the election day is upon us!

As the polls open at nine in the morning today, stations and election officials will be greeted by thousands of voters waiting in the queue. And in a fortnight’s time, the nation will go to the polls again for the general round that will give us ruling and the opposition parties.

Adult franchise is a fundamental pillar in a democracy. This sacred right to vote, which is based on equality, a basic principle of democracy, must therefore be exercised with a solemn sense of duty by every Bhutanese involved in the process.

It has been a long and wearing journey for the political parties and candidates who have had to visit the constituencies as part of familiarisation tour and to convince the electorate to vote for them. For the voters, particularly in the distant villages, it was equally tiring what with ceaseless party meetings to attend leaving behind their more important farm work. Election and security officials too were kept busy round the clock with preparatory assignments and training.

All these developments are reasons to congratulate ourselves. We have done our part, each individually, to make this critically significant national engagement a success.

As elections come, we cannot of course expect everything to sail smoothly without issues of varying significance here and there. We have had our share of problems related to election and more will visit us in the days leading up to the poll day of the general round. The divisions that political parties have managed to create since the advent of democracy is something of a raw nerve in the society. It is a sad reality that seems to have its roots in the kind of politics that the political parties have subscribed to.

When the dust settles and calm returns, we will find that election is done but not dusted. It will then be upon the people, more importantly the elected leaders, to heal the scars left in the wake.

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