PM fields question on thromde elections

Law: The Supreme Court (SC) did not say that the thromde election is against the law, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay clarified recently, in response to a Desuup’s question on the recent writ issued by the SC to defer thromde elections.

Chencho Tshering, a Desuup trainee, asked the question while interacting with the Prime Minister during his recent visit to the military training centre in Tencholing, Wangdue.

Chencho Tshering asked if the government could establish a council of lawyers to avoid making laws that contradict each other. He said the recent writ issued by the SC contradicts some provisions of the Constitution. “We believe the government said it is as per the Constitution,” said the trainee.

The Prime Minister said the SC has issued the order to defer thromde elections and suggested the government to constitute a high-level commission comprising of experts in the related field before establishing thromde tshogdes. The group will review the conflicting provisions and harmonise the local government Act, election Act and other related laws.

There is no problem, said Lyonchoen, as the decision to have dzongkhag thormdes and yenlag thromdes in all 20 dzongkhags was passed through Parliament as per the Constitution. He said the Constitution states that local governments have dzongkhag tshogdus, gewog tshogdes and thromde tshogdes.

Lyonchoen said it is the SC which feels the need for experts to study the issue before conducting elections to establish thromde tshogdes.

The SC’s writ states that if the dzongkhag and yenlag thromdes are to be established based on the present need, it conflicts with some of the provisions of the Constitution. The fundamental principle of democracy is to hold elections through mass participation, it says. If there is no required size of population in the constituencies, the establishment of dzongkhag and yenlag thromdes may not fulfill the constitutional mandate.

Lyonchoen said that anybody can make laws but it has to be endorsed by Parliament. However, parliament members should be held accountable if they endorse a law that doesn’t benefit people and society.

Citing an example of how people have had to face several problems following the tobacco control Act, Lyonchoen said that such laws cause more harm than benefit to the people, and for this, all members of parliament should be held accountable.

Lyonchoen said that whenever an Act or law is made, it is important to be mindful of how it is going to benefit both individuals and society.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue

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