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New labour minister appointment jolts electorates

By Tashi Namgyal/Thimphu

Emotions have stirred in the Nyamrup camp as the news of a newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) being selected as the Labour Minister jolted ruling party MPs as well as electorates.

Serving Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) MPs and party supporters have lambasted the decision of the Prime Minister (PM) in ignoring seasoned aspirants to fill the void left by the former Home Minister, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen in the Cabinet.

While six names were finally left for the PM to choose the next Home Minister from, party supporters said that they were sure that the PM would intelligently choose the one who had the most calibers and was in the parliament since 2018.

Empowered by the Constitution, the PM picked recently elected Nganglam MP Karma Dorji as the new Labour Minister and transferred the former Labour Minister, Ugyen Dorji to the Home Ministry.

A DNT supporter from Tsirang exclaimed that he was aghast upon hearing the news of the selection through the media.

He said that while MP Karma Dorji is just three or four months old in the parliament, there were other MPs who have been religiously serving the country, the people and the government, who have better understanding and vision.

โ€œWe were not vying for anyone personally but looking at how things should work, we expected a senior MP who has actively participated in all the past parliaments since DNT took over,โ€ another stunned voter from Wangdue voiced.

The PM said that Lyonpo Karma Dorji was one of the partyโ€™s founding members and also kept the party afloat after the 2013 elections. More so, Dr Lotay Tshering reiterated that the newly appointed Labour Minister fulfilled all the criteria to take up the responsibility.

People this paper talked to also shared that they were longing to see another woman in a ministerโ€™s portfolio in the Cabinet. There are currently five MPs in the parliament under the ruling government. However, the Cabinet has only one female in Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo.

โ€œIn a developing society stressing upon women empowerment and gender equality, I would have wished to see another one or two woman in a ministerโ€™s portfolio,โ€ an official from the National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) said.

โ€œIt would have been nice to see one of the female MPs taking charge of the Home Ministry. There is no doubt they can handle it as good as the others,โ€ 45 year-old Sangay Choden from Phuentsholing earlier said.

Different people from different constituencies across the country are religiously trying to explain and out-smart each other on how eligible and efficient their MPs are to fill the void.

While Nyamrup party members and supporters alike are busy speculating, electorates outside the DNT ring said that they would accept any serving MP as a minister, provided they donโ€™t get lured into corruption.

The Home Ministerโ€™s post has remained vacant since May this year, when the former home minister Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen tendered his resignation after being convicted of a false vehicle insurance claim.

The new Labour Minister was appointed on September 8 at the Tashichhodzong in Thimphu, winning the bye-elections from Nganglam constituency in June after the demise of former MP ChoidaJamtsho.

Lyonpo Karma Dorji holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology from Curtin University of Technology in Australia and Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, Major in Telecommunications, SIIT, Thammasat University in Thailand.

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