The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) in its executive committee meeting decided that its president Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) will assume the post of the Opposition Leader for the second time.
In its two-day executive committee meeting that ended yesterday, DPT has also unanimously decided to file nomination of its two elected members to contest for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The Opposition Partyhas nominated MP-elect of Drametse-Ngatshang, Ugyen Wangdi to contest for the post of speaker and MP-elect of Chhumig-Ura, Karma Wangchuk for the Deputy Speaker.
While this is the first time the Opposition is filing their nominations for these posts, the party spokesperson and MP-elect of Panbang, Dorji Wangdi said this is in accordance with the laws.
Article 12, section 3 of the Constitution states, “At the first sitting after the general election, or when necessary to fill a vacancy, the National Assembly shall elect a Speaker and Deputy Speaker among its members.” He said, this is also reiterated in the National Assembly Act.
The National Assembly rules of procedure also state that any member may submit a nomination of a member for the post of speaker in the house.
The nomination must be seconded by another member accompanied by a statement by the nominee that he or she is willing to serve as the Speaker.
Both the National Assembly Act and rules of procedure state that the Speaker shall remain non-partisan.
Given the background and experience, Dorji Wangdi said the party has decided to file the nomination of the two candidates. “It should not matter whether the candidates are from ruling party or Opposition as speakers have to be non-partisan,” he said.
“Candidate with the right attitude, qualification and experience is befitting of the roles and responsibilities as the head of one of the three branches of the government,” he said.
Ugyen Wangdi, according to DPT, is the most appropriate candidate for the post. A lawyer by profession, he served as the chief lawyer in both the home ministry and Anti-corruption Commission before joining politics. “In his two terms as MP, he has been instrumental in helping and guiding other law makers,” Dorji Wangdi said.
Karma Wangchuk, the nominee for the post of Deputy Speaker is a dungtsho by profession and has served a term in the first parliament.
In the first Parliament, Dorji Wangdi said there were only two members from the Opposition. If one is elected as Speaker, he said there wouldn’t be opposition MPs in the house. During the second Parliament, he said the Opposition didn’t get information on the nomination filing and neither did the ruling party offer. This time, he said the party has good number of MPs. The party also talked with the NA’s secretary general, who conveyed that it has to file the nomination before the evening of October 30.
“We are optimistic about getting full support from the elected government and its members,” Dorji Wangdi said.