Bhutan set to go to National Council polls

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Thimpu, April 19 (IANS) Bhutan is all set to go to the National Council polls on Friday.

The country will elect 20 council representatives from across 20 districts, who will be joined by five eminent members appointed by the King of Bhutan, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

The National Council is a permanent house and it will complete its second five-year term on May 9. It will be reconstituted on May 10.

Unlike a parliamentary election, where members have to resign for re-election, the council members are called the incumbent members and allowed to re-contest and remain as members till the next appointment of new members.

The Election Commission of Bhutan stationed over 5,619 officials across 20 districts for polling day. It also set up around 64 postal ballots facilitation booths in urban areas across the country.

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The voters were required to do pre-registration at facilitation booths from April 12-15 before the voting.

Ballot booth facility is a first of its kind to be implemented in the elections in Bhutan. It is to help ease the voting process, Election Commission officials said.

The Commission also provides postal ballot facilities to those away from their constituencies or districts or were studying and residing outside Bhutan.

On completion of the council poll, the Election Commission will focus on the parliamentary election. Going by the five-year term, the present government will likely be dissolved by August first week and the elections could take place by September.

This year marks Bhutan’s third parliamentary election since 2008.

–IANS

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