NC: Protecting National Council (NC) members’ apolitical character, ensuring primacy of national issues and perceptions of the house are some of the challenges the house faces, NC chairperson, said Dasho (Dr) Sonam Kinga.

During his deliberation on parliamentary processes and procedures with the media yesterday, the chairperson said that while there are measures in place to ensure that a member of the National Council is not affiliated with any political parties as of today, NC should maintain this character in years to come.

Citing his own example of how some members alerted him of rumours going around that he might lead a political party in the next election, Dasho (Dr) Sonam Kinga said that he assured the members that while he cannot stop the rumours from doing the rounds he would never do such a thing as a NC member. “NC members must resign before they affiliate themselves with a [political] party.”

He also said that the NC should ensure that the focus is more on national issues than the issues of constituencies.

Dasho (Dr) Sonam Kinga also said that it is important for NC to be understood in its own merit. “The general perception of NC as of today is that of a training ground for National Assembly,” he said. “NC is also perceived as Opposition.”

Highlighting the role of NC, the chairperson said NC balances regional imbalances, executive excesses and legislative limitations. “NC also conducts non-partisan reviews.”

Asserting the NC’s character as apolitical, pure, neutral, independent and a continuous House, Dasho (Dr) Sonam Kinga said that the NC has equal legislative powers and can originate bills, except money bills.

He also highlighted the NC’s achievements and said that the House has initiated amendment of existing laws, reviewed and passed government bills and budget, and ensured bills and policy decisions adhered to Constitution.

Adding that because the NC belongs to the people, the people need to know more about the dynamics of how the institution works and the dynamics of the institution’s decision-making processes.

The chairperson also said the NC has now started engaging with the media and created structured press conferences.

Tashi Dema