Any MP can be the next Home Minister: PM

While the government is yet to make a formal selection among the serving MPs, speculations are rife in favour of MP Dawa in the pecking order

By Tashi Namgyal

Bhutanese electorates are rooting for their respective Member of Parliament (MP) to be appointed as the new Home Minister, with different people from different constituencies across the country rigorously trying to explain how efficient and capable their MPs are to fill the vacant seat.

However, the government has not yet decided who will be the most eligible candidate. Prime Minister (PM) Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering shared that the government was so indulged in Covid-19 related issues that they didn’t come across discussing about the Home Minister’s candidature at all.

“Ofcourse it is important and people have every right to question. We will sit down to discuss about it after administering the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines when the situation cools down,” he said.

After the resignation of its former minister in May, the Home Ministry is looked after and officiated by the Foreign Minister, Dr. Tandi Dorji for the interim period.

Lyonchhen also said that there is not much difference between an officiating and a permanently dedicated minister. “All mundane and daily decisions for the ministry is being equally handled by Lyonpo Tandi and if any important matters arise, it will have to be routed through the Cabinet anyhow,” the PM added.

While lauding the capabilities of the seasoned bureaucrats and ministers who are handling their respective ministries, Lyonchhen said that the government is also waiting for the arrival of the two recently elected MPs from Mongar and Nganglam constituencies, who are just as well experienced, deserving, and responsible to assume the minister’s post.

Provisionally elected MPs Karma Lhamo and Karma Dorji will have to be first inducted formally by the Speaker as a member of parliament. Before that, the two MPs should be certified by the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB).

“After 10 working days, ECB will formally certify them as MPs of respective constituencies. Two of them will then be handed over to the Speaker`s office who will have to induct them formally to the parliament,” Lyonchhen said.

“Only after that, Karma Lhamo and Karma Dorji can be officially tagged as Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s Member of Parliamentfrom the constituencies of Nganglam and Mongar,” he reiterated, adding that the two MPs will then enjoy all the rights and privileges just like any other serving MPs, and also get the berth to try their luck when the selection committee meets for the Home Minister’s post.

As widely explained and known, there are no clear written norms for the appointment of a minister in Bhutan. It is followed as per the Constitution which states that His Majesty The King can appoint a minister upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, speculations are rife about Choekhor-Tang MP Dawa leading in the pecking order of the contender’s list for the minister’s post. Next in line is Athang-Thedtsho MP Kinley Wangchuk who garnered popularity through his social media posts.

“Dawa is the most deserving candidate for the post. He is well equipped with all the characteristics of a minister,” 70 year-old Kinzang Thinley from Thimphu said, resonating so many others who believes and knows MP Dawa from his days as an anchor with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS).

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