DNT to announce ministerial portfolios soon 

A mid speculations on the new Cabinet, Druk Nyamrup Tshoga (DNT) is expected to reveal the names of probable ministers in its government soon.

DNT’s spokesperson Dr Tandi Dorji told Kuensel that the party has identified ministerial nominees for all the ministries and that the names would be announced either today or tomorrow.

“We have a committee, which has decided everything including the candidates’ portfolios in the Cabinet and we will announce either tomorrow or the day after. But the final decision lies with the prime minister-elect,” Dr Tandi Dorji said yesterday.

Party sources said Prime Minister-elect Dr Lotay Tshering would recommend the names of the ministers to the Druk Gyalpo once he receives the Dakyen.

The party president, during his campaign tour had promised two ministers and a Speaker from Pemagatshel. Founding member Tenzin Lekphel from Bartsham-Shongphu constituency and Tenzin Namgyel from Kanglung-Udorung constituency, both in Trashigang, were also potential ministers had they not lost the election.

Some of the MP-elects who are most likely to take up cabinet portfolios are Dr Tandi Dorji from Punakha’s Lingmukha-Toedwang constituency and Dechen Wangmo from North Thimpu constituency.

Founding member Dr Tandi, 50, is a former medical officer and child specialist and technical advisor to the Department of Public Health. He has an MBBS, MD in Pediatrics and an MBA. Dechen Wangmo, 42, is a former public health specialist.

Jai Bir Rai, 45, from Phuentsholing and Lok Nath Sharma, 48, from Samtse’s Dophuchen-Tading are also likely ministers.

Jai Bir Rai was one of the only two DNT candidates who won in the 2013 primaries. The DNT president during his campaign visit to Dophuchen-Tading had promised to appoint a minister from the constituency, where Druk Phuensum Tshogpa also had a minister candidate in Thakur Singh Powdyel.

Jai Bir Rai, who has a Masters in Business Administration, is a former civil servant and businessman. Lok Nath Sharma is a former RSTA regional head and has a Masters in Economics.

DNT vice president Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, from Mongar constituency is also likely to get the post of either a minister or Speaker. The 63-year-old former Dzongkha Development Commission secretary has a BA in Public Administration and Political Science. A false insurance claim case involving Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen is pending at the Thimphu dzongkhag court.

The names of the MP-elect from Lamgong-Wangchang and former member of National Council from Paro, Ugyen Tshering, 53, and Wangchuk Namgyel, 56, from Nyisho-Sephu constituency in Wangdue are also floating on social media as potential ministerial candidates.

DNT at a press conference earlier said that it would appoint an inclusive and regionally balanced Cabinet based on the competence of the candidates. Sources said the party has promised to appoint three ministers each from eastern and southern dzongkhags.

DNT has won four constituencies from the east. The party won two in Trashigang – Ugyen Dorji from Thimshing-Kangpara and Dorji Tshering from Radhi-Sakteng. DNT’s Kinga Penjor from Luentse’s Gangzur-Menjay and Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen are the other two winners from the east.

The DNT spokesperson also said that the party has identified its candidates for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker. “DPT may have its own candidates. We will follow the rules and nominate our own candidates,” Dr Tandi Dorji said.

The first session of the third National Assembly will convene after the formation of the Cabinet. As per Article 17(3) of the Constitution, the prime minister-elect is expected to recommend the names of new ministers after he receives the Dakyen.

The 12th Five-Year Plan and the 2018-19 annual budget, which commenced from July 1, are awaiting Parliament’s endorsement. Earlier in June, the Parliament passed an interim budget for six months until the formation of the new government.

A new budget must be passed for the rest of the financial year since the interim budget will expire on December 31. The interim government was appointed on August 9 for a period of 90 days, at the maximum.

The interim government ceases to exist with the constitution of the new National Assembly and the new government entering office.

MB Subba 

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