MB Subba

The nationwide lockdown has delayed Opposition Leader’s plan to leave office to join the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Opposition Leader Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) was scheduled to leave office on August 17.

Many were taken by surprise when the ICIMOD in July announced the OL as its new director general although most Members of Parliament were aware of his plan to leave active politics.

The National Assembly (NA) has formally accepted the opposition leader’s resignation. The OL had submitted his resignation to the Speaker on July 22.

Secretary general of the House, Karma Weezir, said that the NA and the OL had not completed formalities on the resignation. “We could not do handing-taking of the office due to the lockdown,” he said.

The opposition leader is supposed to join his new office in mid-October according to the announcement of ICIMOD.

However, Health Minister Dechen Wangmo on August 28 said that given the rising number of Covid-19 positive cases, the lockdown could stay for some days and that it would be lifted only once health surveillance and tests for all the vulnerable people are completed.

The ICIMOD is a learning and knowledge-sharing centre which serves eight countries—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.

This will be Pema Gyamtsho’s second stint with the ICIMOD. He had previously worked with ICIMOD as a watershed specialist.