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We Demand Responsible Action From EU

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*PRESS RELEASE*

Dated: 10th March, 2008

Camp: Delhi

*We Demand Responsible Action From European Union Observers.*

A team of 15 observers from 13 different European Union countries arrived in the Bhutan to observe the first ever general election that is scheduled on the 24th of March, 2008. The Druk National Congress welcomes this. But taking into account the recent remarks of the team, it puts into doubt the effectiveness of the team in observing the happenings in the backstage that will determine the ultimate outcome of the elections. It is obvious that the process is being observed only at face value. Further, we apprehend that EU observers will bless Bhutan's general election in spite of all shortcomings. Mr. Javier Pomes, the Chief of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), said, "In our observations so far, most of the processes comply with international standards.".

In fact, he and his team members understand and acknowledge the fact that only two political parties both headed by the relatives of the King are allowed to function and participate in the political process. Despite the elections being only two weeks away, fundamental human and democratic rights for the people still does not exist. People are still arrested for engaging in political activities that does not favour the present regime and its cronies. Large sections of the population are excluded from the process including the people in exile. Are these practices in compliance with International standards?

We are aware of the existing democratic practices and traditions prevalent in European Countries. We are therefore, disheartened to hear such irresponsible remarks. Bhutanese democrats are no different from democrats in European democratic countries; we too accept a Constitutional Monarchy that is akin to the Constitutional Monarchies in European countries. Henceforth, we hope that the Team will advise the Bhutan regime to work towards a genuine and inclusive democracy.

ends


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