Asks Opposition members to follow suit

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate if there is possible cases of corruption in building the compound wall and security houses at his residence, as accused by the opposition party.

Lyonchhen said that the compound wall and water supply infrastructures was built at the insistence of the Royal Bhutan Police on the grounds of security. He said that the Royal Audit Authority’s (RAA) observation was not a part of main findings but came as an observation that are recommendatory in nature and thus annexed.

“They (RAA) didn’t call it misuse of public fund or corruption. I voluntarily returned the money,” he said. “Now Opposition raises questions on flood lights and CCTV. No CCTVs were installed nor were the floodlights. Earlier they talked about carvings, I have no idea,” he said.

The Opposition’s press releases, he said had proven his initial fears. “It succeeded in moving the attention from the fiscal incentive to compound wall built at my home.”

As for the approach road, he said that 30 percent of his land fell under land pooling. “It didn’t just benefit me but my neighbours whose land were also pooled,” he said adding that the purpose of land pooling was to provide basic infrastructures like road, electricity and water supply.

While the Opposition claims that the Prime Minster had the option of staying in Lhengye Densa, Lyocnhhen said that the country still doesn’t have a state guesthouse as is the case earlier. “The Opposition Leader knows this very well because his first request to the government was to allow him to stay in Lhengye Densa. As an Opposition Leader, I wasn’t allowed to stay there, because there wasn’t a state guest house.”

This is the second time the Prime Minister has requested the ACC to investigate him. The first was the in the case of possible conflict of interest when electric vehicles were introduced in 2014. “The Opposition may like to follow suit and ask for self investigation,” he said.

While it has been a sort of mudslinging, Lyonchhen said that it is good in a way as the upcoming governments would be cautious in setting such precedence.

With due regard and respect to the elder ministers who had served the government for decades, Lyonchhen also said that it is disturbing to conclude that some of the older ministers has used their experience to subvert the rule of law and cover possible cases of corruption instead of using it to guide the country forward.

Tshering Dorji