Party EXCOM to decide new OL

MB Subba

With the Opposition Leader (OL) Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) having formally tendered his resignation, the Opposition Party is looking into the procedure to nominate a new OL.

The OL submitted his resignation last week from the posts of both opposition leader and Member of Parliament, according to the National Assembly.

The OL is expected to leave office by mid-August, which means that he will remain as the OL for slightly more than two weeks from now. While the party president or a nominee of the ruling party is appointed as the prime minister, laws are not clear on the nomination of OL.

In normal situations, the president of the Opposition Party becomes the opposition leader. The party needs to call a general convention to elect a new party president.

The party has three vice presidents—MP Dorji Wangdi, MP Ugyen Wangdi and Lily Wangchuk. Younger MPs are also said to be eyeing for the post.

The opposition leader is expected to issue a media statement in the coming days. Party members said the OL recently met with MPs and party members after the news broke in the media to brief them about his decision.

Party insiders said that the OL’s resignation did not come as a shock as he had expressed his intention to resign from the post for quite some time. The Opposition Party is expected to convene an executive committee meeting (EXCOM) to discuss who will be the new OL.

Opposition MP Ugyen Dorji said that the party had not decided on the new OL. “We will complete the process,” he said, adding that in the present case, the new OL will be the de facto president of the party.

The opposition party has five members serving their third time in the National Assembly.

The National Assembly Act states that a member may, by writing under his or her hand, addressed to the Speaker, if the House is in session, or the Secretary General if the House is not in session, resign his or her seat.

But there is no separate provision for the resignation of the opposition leader in the law. A by-election will be held within 90 days as from the date of vacancy the resignation is accepted.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on July 16 announced that the OL was selected as its new director general from mid-October this year.

The Kathmandu-based regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge-sharing centre 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 in ICIMOD as a watershed specialist.