A public election fund is paid annually to be used as funding for registered political parties and candidates during election period for the Parliament, to be disbursed by the Election Commission through the Public Election Fund Division. On the other hand, the candidates for local governments will not be receiving campaign funds from the Election Commission.
A candidate to the National Council election is eligible for funding when his/her nomination has been duly accepted by the Election Commission; while political parties are eligible for funding when it is registered for participating in the preliminary round of election for the National Assembly in all twenty Dzongkhags and when at least 10 percent of the valid votes cast in the previous National Assembly elections has been secured. Application for receiving the fund from the Election Commission shall be accompanied with the copy of letter of acceptance as candidate; while for political parties it must be accompanied with the copy of the Certificate of Registration as a political party which has been issued by the Election Commission and also a letter of intent must be submitted stating its intention in participating in the National Assembly Elections.
Political Parties are also allowed to accept contributions only if it has been offered voluntarily by any of its registered members and is in compliance with the amount fixed by the Election Commission. It must be made by checks and declared before the Commission. It is prohibited for an individual or organization to sponsor meals, entertainment, donations or any other activity that may either support or damage the electoral prospect of any party or candidate during the election period. Soliciting or resorting to any form of fund raising for campaigning in an election from individuals or any agency is prohibited.
The public election fund shall be disbursed to the political party and to the candidate through a campaign account which the parties shall open in the bank notified by the Election Commission. All financial activities during election period shall be conducted through the said campaign account, and only the public election fund and contributions received from the party’s registered members shall be deposited in it. The fund will be distributed to the account not later than 3 working days from the day of receipt of the valid funding application. However, the funds may be withheld by the Election Commission is a case of fraud or illegal activity committed by the candidate or party is detected; if it has already been distributed, the Election Commission may direct the forfeiture and demand the refund.
The maximum limit of funds to be disbursed to a party for the first round of elections amounts to or is less than Ngultrum 100,000/- per constituency or as may be fixed by the Election Commission from time to time. The same for goes for the candidate for general elections and National Council elections.
Each party, in addition base amount, can incur expenditure from its own funds for elections in the primary round and general elections up to an amount not exceeding the fund provided by the Election Commission. While a candidate for the general elections may spend not exceeding the amount provided by the Election Commission, a candidate in the National Councils may spend only a maximum amount of Ngultrum 100,000/- or as may be fixed by the Election Commission and a candidate in the Local Government would have a maximum limit Ngultrum 50,000/- or as may be fixed by the Commission.
Public Election Fund Act, 2008
Election Act, 2008