The cooling period continues to affect political parties as the trend of deregistration by members continues after the general election, according to party officials.
The approach of thromde and gewog elections is expected to make more members resign from the party membership.
The need for non-elected members to earn a living through employment makes obligatory for them to deregister.
Secretary general of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Phurba, said that deregistration from the party would not necessarily mean that they withdraw support for the party. The post-election deregistration trend, he said, was continuing.
“Party membership is seasonal as membership swells only during the election,” he said, adding that many had deregistered. However, parties preferred not to reveal the figures of how many resigned after the 2018 election.
Phurba said that the pool of politically active people in the country was small given that a large portion of the population were civil servants, corporate employees and members of armed forces.
“Those who take membership of political parties are also interested in local government elections,” he said.
A strong membership base not only strengthens the support base but also contributes to the resources to run the party. Political parties say they do not go for membership drive after the elections.
Parties say they operate with minimum funds with nominal contribution from MPs and voluntary contributions from registered members. Party officials said funds were necessary and important to the extent of carrying out various important activities of the party.
People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) general secretary, Jigme Zangpo, however, claimed that only a few had resigned from his party.
Some parties take resignation of members as a sensitive issue and often refrain from commenting. Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) officials did not comment.
However, some members on the condition of anonymity said members continued to deregister from the party.
Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) official could not be contacted.
A political party can accept up to Nu 500,000 in voluntary contributions from its registered members as per the election Act. Registered members can also make contributions in kind of up to equivalent value.
DNT at 11,383 members had the highest number of registered members among the four parties during the last election.
BKP and DPT had 1,215 and 4,705 members respectively. PDP had 5,520 registered members.