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Polling began for the primary round of the third general election in Bhutan at 9 am on Saturday, according to reports.

The general election will be held on October 18.

Prior to that, the primary round is being held on Saturday between four aspiring political parties.

After that, only two parties will be selected to compete for the general round, according to the Election Commission of Bhutan.

The polling for the primary round bagan at 9 am and will end at 5 pm on Saturday, according to media reports.

According to the Election Commission of Bhutan, there are a total of 438,663 voters on the electoral roll, of which at least 60 per cent are expected to cast their votes during the primary round on Saturday.

Earlier, to facilitate the voters, the Election Commission had set up postal ballot facilitation and mobile booths across 20 districts of Bhutan from September 7 to 9.

Meanwhile, allaying rumours that the voting machinery could be tampered, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) has reiterated that with stringent measures in place, such manipulations are impossible.

According to a Kuensel report, rumours were doing the rounds that some people are reportedly collecting citizenship identify card (CID) details of the voters telling them that by entering the CID details in computers, it would be known who they voted for.

According to the report, it was spread among the voters that those who had not voted for the party that would form the next government would be deprived of benefits from the plans and policies of the government.

The commission has set up 865 polling stations across the country for the national assembly elections. Each polling station is equipped with two EVMs. The commission has already distributed 1,000 new EVMs it procured to the election officials. The existing EVMs are used as back up at the polling stations.

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