… he is expected to tender official resignation 

  Pema Gyamtsho (PhD)

Pema Gyamtsho (PhD)

MB Subba

Opposition Leader (OL) Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) has been selected as Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) 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.

The ICIMOD yesterday stated on its official Facebook page, “We are excited to announce that our Board of Governors has selected a new Director General Dr Pema Gyamtsho who will take up the position at the retirement of our current Director General Dr David Molden in mid-October.”

Sources from the Opposition Party confirmed the news. It was learnt that the OL would issue a statement on his decision to resign from the current post and join ICIMOD.

Druk Phuensum Tshogpa general secretary Sangay Phurba said that the OL had not discussed the issue with the party secretariat.

However he added, “He has been serving the country well. I will work as per the directives of the Opposition Leader and the party.”

It was learnt that the Opposition Leader was yet to submit his resignation papers officially. Sources said that he had earlier briefed some of the opposition MPs about his plans to resign from the post of Opposition Leader and MP.

Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho has been one of the respected politicians in the country.

As the media broke the news on social media, most of the readers congratulated him while some said it was a loss for the democracy in terms of leadership.

A political observer said that good leaders like him leaving politics was not good for democracy.

“It will also impact the opposition both in Parliament and outside. He was a uniting force in Bhutanese politics and within the opposition party,” he said.

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

Pema Gyamtsho, 58, from Bumthang’s Chhoekhor-Tang constituency became the first democratically elected agriculture minister after the historic first parliamentary election in 2008.

He became the Opposition Leader after the second parliamentary election in 2013. This is his third term as a Member of Parliament and second term as the Opposition Leader.

Pema Gyamtsho has a PhD in natural sciences from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and a Masters in Agriculture Science from New Zealand.

He has worked as a member of the erstwhile Planning Commission, the Forestry Development Corporation Board and the Centre for Bhutan Studies, among other agencies. He had last served as Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture as a civil servant.