When the National Assembly recently elected the Speakers of the third parliament, many observed that members voted along party lines.
With the opposition also fielding its nominations for the posts of the speakers this time, the results should be expected. With the ruling party Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa commanding 30 of the 47 seats in the house, the election of the speakers from the ruling party should not be surprising. The first two speakers were also from the ruling party and a non-issue given the non-partisan role of the speakers.
Somehow, we have become obsessed in branding any election process as being along party lines. We are quick to problematise the outcomes and as swift to tag parts of the country with one political party or the other. The literati who claim to be more observant of these processes could be more responsible.
The election is over. Our elected representatives who have taken office and donned their scarves are the country’s parliament members. They symbolise the will of the people and are our lawmakers.
It is time for the country to come together and move on. It is time for the nation to deliberate on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. We have an ambitious 12th Plan to implement and address issues that matter to the people. Education, unemployment, economy, health and more – These are the priorities of the people now, not how the speakers were elected. The time to insinuate divisiveness by citing any act of voting to be along party lines is over.
We have a new government and people are impatient to see who will form the new cabinet. Speculations are rife as is usually the case in our society with names of probable ministers floating on social media. The people are as eager to see what the new government will do. They have promises to keep and commitments to live up to.
The new government comes with a new mandate from the people. There are lessons to learn and unlearn. We expect informed deliberations on national issues at the national assembly that are well moderated by the speakers. This matters more than how they were voted to their posts.
We have less than a week before the election petition period concludes. The people and the government are as excited to see good governance take shape. The election process is a part of the nation’s larger vision and we have much to do.
It is time for a new beginning.