Election commission of Bhutan (ECB) has begun preparation for the upcoming local government election, slated to be held next year.
Election officials and representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs) have gathered in Paro for two days to develop new civic and voter education strategy for the election commission.
This time around, ECB is mulling over giving more space to CSOs as election observer role. The country rarely allows foreign election observation team to observe the election.
The commission, with support from CSOs plans to run voter education programme across the country before the election. The programme would deal with broader concepts underpinning a democratic society such as the respective roles and responsibilities, citizens, government, and media among other stakeholders.
Participants share their experiences of difficulties in educating voters especially when one member of the family turns to the programme every time it is held.
Bhutan faces multiple challenges in making local government election a successful particularly when there are lack of candidates. The criteria for candidacy has make it difficult for many aspiring candidates to contest the election.
Many positions still remain vacant even after four years.