As local government elections approach, local leaders are faced with a dilemma, a quandary that needs to be solved as quickly as we can. Blaming each other will not do anyone any good. What is vitally necessary is that the offices that are involved should have the courage to iron out creases in the Laws.
We could have missed to see conflicts when we drafted rules and regulations. But it is now incumbent on us to straighten things out. ‘Going by the rules’ will create more complications than solve the problems.
The serving local leaders who wish to contest again are left largely baffled. And they are told that governing laws must be respected. Most of the gups, mangmis and tshogpas complete their term only by the end of July.
The Section 21 of Article 22 of the Constitution says that Dzongkhag Tshogdu, Gewog Tshogde and Thromde Tshogde, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of the first sitting of the respective bodies. But the Election Act says that local governments should be reconstituted on the date of expiry.
But then, should the local leaders resign before they complete their term, they must forego their entitlements. A member retiring before completion of his or her term in the office will not be entitled to gratuity.
The real danger is with the possibility of people undermining the Laws. Well, it is as if nothing of this sort happened in the past. The former thrompons and tshogpas of Thimphu, Phuentsholing and Gelephu resigned a month before the completion of their term. Some lawmakers even called it unconstitutional.
What such confusions could have us in the end is that we will not have the right candidates vying for the posts. In any form of government, that is a rueful thing to happen.
Laws are clear and right individually, but the mess is made by the conflicts that occur when many Laws come in together. It is imperative that we remove the creases in the laws and make them respectable.