Council: An elected member should vacate the post one is holding should the individual transfer his or her census during the tenure, the National Council resolved recently.

Following the resolution, Dramitse gewog, Mongar is now slated for the gup’s bye-election, after the National Council asked the government to take urgent actions against him for transferring his census to another last year.

The incumbent gup had transferred his census from Dramitse on November 28 to Ngatshang gewog.

The incident revealed gaps in legislation and misconceptions of existing rules among agencies, which allowed the issue to drag on.

The home ministry had agreed that the gup had violated the rules, but said that it was not its mandate to deal with the individual on the issue.

The home ministry’s response to the Council states that the gup is no longer a resident of the gewog and that ‘he cannot hold the elected post.’ “Therefore, the gup must be made to vacate the post as per law in force.”

However, election commission officials said the post would become vacant only after a year, which is when the gup gets registered in the electoral roll of Ngatshang gewog.

“The basis for the electoral roll is the census registration, and not otherwise,” Council chairperson Dasho (Dr) Sonam Kinga said.

The Chairperson said that if the Council did not act in the first instance many more of such unethical incidences could occur in future.

In the last session, a committee reviewed the issue and sought responses from relevant agencies. The committee’s proposed resolutions were endorsed on November 22.

The committee found that the transfer of census contradicted the spirit of the Constitution, and breached sections of the local Government Act, 2009.

The House asked for a clear procedure for disqualification of a member from an elective office the moment his or her census is transferred to another. It also asked the Election Commission to hold a bye-election for the post.

By Tshering Palden