The National Assembly has less than a week to complete its five-year term. The house will dissolve on August 1 with an offering of Tashi Menlam and Zhabten, according to the secretariat.

The second National Assembly was constituted on August 2, 2013.

Secretary general of the house, Sangay Duba, told Kuensel that preparations are underway for a last gathering of the members in the Assembly hall. “The members will offer Tashi Menlam and Zhabten on the last day of their term,” he said, adding that such a programme was being organised for the first time.

Speaker Jigme Zangpo is expected to deliver his last speech to the members of the house, according to the secretary general.

During the day, Sangay Duba said that the members would surrender their kabney and patang to mark the completion of their responsibility. They will wear the kabneys they wore prior to becoming Members of Parliament.

The secretary general, however, added that the surrender of the kabney and patang would be done to complete the formality only and that the members could take home the symbols of their former responsibility.

“This programme is being organised for the first time. We want to institutionalise this practice for the National Assembly,” the secretary general said.

The secretariat, Sangay Duba said, was currently working on the members’ retirement benefits and is planning to disburse the money as soon as possible. He said their retirement benefits will be disbursed as per the Parliamentarians’ Entitlement Act.

Currently, most members are on their constituency tours. Those who are in Thimphu, he said, are handing over documents to the secretariat.

According to Article 19(3) of the Constitution, the prime minister and the ministers shall resign from office upon the appointment of an interim government.

The Druk Gyalpo appoints an interim government to function for a period, which shall not exceed ninety days, within fifteen days after the dissolution of the National Assembly.

The interim government consists of the Supreme Court chief justice as the Chief Advisor and other Advisors appointed by the Druk Gyalpo. The interim government ceases to exist on the day the new prime minister enters office.

It is learnt that National Council members, who completed their tenure in April this year, received around Nu 1.5 million each in retirement benefits. Members of the lower house are expected to receive an equivalent sum.

Speaker Jigme Zangpo told Kuensel, “My five-year tenure as the Speaker has been very successful and I feel satisfied.”

The Speaker through a recent letter has also thanked dzongdags and local government officials among others for their support during the last five years.

“Despite limited experience initially, the house completed its responsibility with the blessings of God, the guidance of His Majesty The King, members of Royal Family and prayers from the Je Khenpo and other lams,” he has stated in the letter.

Describing the second parliament as fruitful, the Speaker stated that the house has set a right precedent and that he hoped that the future parliaments would do better.  The 11th session passed an interim budget for the first time.

MB Subba