Deputy Minister, NEC,
Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan, Election Commission,
Auditor General, RAA,
Attorney General, OAL,
Heads of Armed Forces,
Chairpersons DYT & GYT,
Heads of Autonomous Organizations,
CEOs of Corporations & Financial Institutions,
General Secretary, BCCI,
Heads of other Business Associations, and
Heads of NGOs
SUB: POLITICAL & ELECTORAL CORRUPTION
Dear Sir (s),
Our great leader, His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo envisioned a political system
that would evolve so that Bhutanese would continue to enjoy peace and prosperity,
justice and fundamental rights, which have always been enshrined in our system.
As the nation prepares for the new political system under the inspiring leadership
of His Majesty the 5th Druk Gyalpo, every citizen and institution has the sacred
duty to realize the noble intentions of the great vision. In particular, our
senior leaders have greater responsibility in ensuring the successful implementation
of the democratic system of governance. The importance of strong political systems
and political parties must also be recognized by the people, the electorate
and more importantly they must be enabled to work towards achieving it.
As a small country, located as we are in a challenging environment, we cannot
afford to fail in this important mission. It is vital that corruption risks
are addressed NOW! It is common knowledge that political corruption initially
perpetrates during the electoral cycle - party financing, campaigning and polling
and subsequently politicians in power misuse state funds and public resources
for electoral purposes and bribery of voters and election officials. Stories
as reported from the Dzongkhags, if true, are precursors to dangerous inevitabilities.
Further, quality of political candidates is of paramount importance. The ECB,
media, ACC and the electorate have to take the critical responsibility in checking
"wrong" people getting into governance.
Information is a powerful tool and its access besides being a fundamental right
is also fundamental to fighting corruption or demanding better service delivery.
An informed and vigilant citizenry can be more effective in combating corruption.
Civil society is a vibrant network of diverse talents, which if properly focused,
can play an important role as a watchdog over the conduct of business by political
parties, party members and government in ensuring ethics, accountability, transparency
Sir, in order to pre-empt political and electoral corruption in a concerted
effort, the ACC in consultation with the ECB has consolidated and compiled
relevant information on "dos" and "don'ts" from the Election Bill(click here
for the details), which is not exhaustive, to serve as a public
education and advocacy material. As the first election is approaching, it has
become ever more urgent and compelling to equip all citizens with relevant information
to enable them to exercise their franchise freely, fairly and confidently.
Therefore, the ACC implores leaders of all profession and ranks, individuals
and agencies to widely circulate the enclosed information to fulfill our common
goal of establishing a strong parliamentary democracy that ensures continued
peace and prosperity, justice and fundamental rights to all Bhutanese.
Sir, post 2008 is everybody's concern. However, we believe that if we have confidence
in ourselves and if every citizen commits him/herself in body, speech and mind,
to the service of the nation and the people, we do not see any reason for any
concern at all. Post 2008 will totally depend on what we do or don't do now!
It is our duty to fulfill the aspirations of our great leader! If we
fail Him, we fail our fellow citizens and our great nation!