The third National Assembly will elect its Speaker and Deputy Speaker on October 31.

The rules of procedure allow any individual member of the House to submit his nomination for the post.

The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) general secretary, Phurba, said that the party had not taken any stand on who would be the Speaker or Deputy Speaker.

The nomination must be seconded by another member and accompanied by a statement by the nominee that he or she is willing to serve as the Speaker.

Secretary general of the National Assembly, Sangay Duba, told Kuensel that the MPs-elect would assemble for the first sitting at 10am. “This is not the first session, but the first sitting convened for election of a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker,” he said.

However, the first session of the House will convene after the formation of the Cabinet.

As per Article 17(3) of the Constitution, the prime minister-elect, Dr Lotay Tshering, is expected to recommend the names of new ministers after the Druk Gyalpo confers him the Dakeyen. It is the prerogative of the prime minister to name a Cabinet member. 

Phurba, said that the party would follow the law in forming of the government.

“It’s the prerogative of the party president to be the prime minister-elect. We would have chosen a different candidate for the post of prime minister only if the party president had not won from his constituency,” he said.

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s (DPT) general secretary, Sangay Phurba, said that the party president Dr Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) was expected to be the next opposition leader. It will be a second term as opposition leader for Pema Gyamtsho, who became DPT party president in 2013.

The 12th Five-Year Plan and the 2018-19 annual budget, which commenced from July 1, are awaiting Parliament’s endorsement. The current fiscal year coincides with the first year of the 12th Plan.

The new government will align its manifesto with the 12th Plan to fulfill its pledges.

Earlier in June, Parliament passed an interim budget for six months until the formation of the new government. This means that the interim budget will expire on December 31, before which a new budget must be passed for rest of the financial year

The interim government was appointed on August 9.

Article 19(1) of the Constitution prescribes that the interim government appointed by the Druk Gyalpo functions for a period of 90 days. The interim government ceases to exist with the constitution of the new National Assembly and the new prime government entering office.

The results were declared on October 19. The petition period will end on November 6, 10 days after the declaration of the results excluding the non-working days. 

The authority to try an election petition relating to an election to the National Assembly or National Council shall be the High Court of Bhutan. 

MB Subba