The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has formed five advisory committees comprising members from within and outside the Parliament to support and provide feedback to Cabinet ministers.

The formation of the committees was the main outcome of the party’s first meeting of all DNT candidates that participated in the 2018 parliamentary elections held on January 12.

The party’s general secretary, Phurba, said that each of the five committees would be responsible for supporting two ministers. He explained that the committees would provide feedback coming from the people, and provide suggestions and solutions on issues to the Cabinet ministers.

Party officials said that this was one of the means for the party machinery to provide support to the government.

“It’s a new arrangement in our system. And it’s good for democracy,” the general secretary said, adding that the main idea was to promote team spirit. The party believes that MPs and candidates who are not in the Cabinet are equally resourceful.

According to the general secretary, Cabinet ministers are pressed for time to listen to all the feedback and ideas that come from informal platforms.  “The committees would provide extra eyes, new ears and new noses for Cabinet ministers.”

Former candidate from Zhemgang’s Bardo-Trong, Sonam Leki, said that the committees would also assess how the ministers perform in terms of fulfilling the pledges and that they will be advised on where he or she needs improvement. “We will provide our feedback through various channels such as social media,” he said, adding that the committees would meet whenever the need arises.

Drujeygang-Tseza MP Jurmi Wangchuk said that the new system would ‘link’ ministers with members. He said the Cabinet ministers and the committee ministers can hold discussion on important matters such as formulation of policies and plans.

The meeting was attending by Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, ministers and former party candidates and members. The party said the meeting was a reunion of DNT candidates who made it to Parliament and those who did not.

The meeting was defined by the members’ commitments to work together, as the party shouldered the mandate of governance and endeavoured to fulfill aspirations of the people, the party posted on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the meeting also discussed the need to elect a new party president. Election of a new president, party members says, will enable the current party president and Prime Minister to focus on governance.

“Preparations are being done for election of a new president. We will soon meet for the election of our new president,” said Soman Leki.

The first two former prime ministers had kept the post of party president also.

The party has said that the new president will have clear terms of reference that will be in compliance with the party charter and the Constitution.

Party officials said the party president would have to work closely with the prime minister, the cabinet while making sure the party is alive and vibrant.

The party’s charter does not allow a person to hold the posts of both party president and Prime Minister. The responsibilities of the party president include providing effective leadership to the party and representing the party in various national and international forums.

A general meeting of party members will be called to elect the president, according to the party.

MB Subba