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Shifting political lines – illegal or is it not?
Ap Tsara, May 02, 2013
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Wai! The National Council election euphoria has come and gone. During the campaigns and the common fora we heard promises and commitments made by the candidates to serve the people by being apolitical.

But barely two weeks on, we already hear of some NC candidates who could not make it to the Council house having turned political by joining the political parties. If people can change their principles in less than two weeks’ time, of what ethics should we talk about? Isn’t it a brazen lip-service given to the people just to lure votes? How could people trust these candidates the next time round?

Judging by their actions, it is doubtful whether their wish to serve the people is genuine. Many observers already see them as headstrong opportunists looking for cushy jobs. Let us remember that the National Assembly and the National council are no place for casual job-hunters.

Theoretically, we are still within the election period. The petition date expires only on May 8. Is it permissible then for the lost NC candidates to jump into political arena even before the expiry of the petition period?

Each NC candidate received Nu 130,000 as campaign fund. Have they cleared their bills with the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB)? And what about audit clearance? Have they done all these within this short span of time?

We have heard that candidates can shift from one political party to the other with approval from the parent party, but we are not sure if the lost NC candidates have to do the same from the ECB. Things must be made clear so that we set a good precedent. The lost NC candidates who have now become party candidates will again receive campaign funds. There is an imminent danger for some people to consider election more as a business opportunity than contesting to serve the people better. More mammonistic than true. This is dangerous for a young democracy like ours.

It is time we put things into clear perspectives.

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