MB Subba 

The Prime Minister’s decision to pick the newly elected Nganglam’s Member of Parliament (MP) Karma Dorji as the labour minister has caused disgruntlement among many ruling party MPs.

One of the disgruntled MPs said that Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering should have chosen from the MPs who were serving from 2018 and that it was a blunder on the part of the Prime Minister for ignoring other strong aspirants.

The message, it was said, was communicated to the Prime Minister prior to the appointment.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that DNT supporters from six constituencies had approached, requesting him to nominate their MP. He said he had discussed the issue with the Cabinet and MPs and that they had entrusted him with the responsibility to pick a minister.

The Constitution empowers the Prime Minister to pick a minister as his prerogative.

“All the aspirants are capable of taking the responsibility but I had only one seat to fill,” he said.

However, he added that the newly appointed labour minister had made contributions in keeping the party going after the 2013 election and that he had fulfilled the criteria to take the responsibility.

He said one of the reasons for choosing him was that he was a founding member of the party.

Dr Lotay Tshering said that the Nganglam MP had expressed his interest to serve as the labour minister and that the former labour minister Ugyen Dorji was transferred to the home ministry.

There are also questions being asked about the Prime Minister’s decision to transfer the former labour minister to the home ministry.

The Prime Minister justified that although the new home minister was relatively younger, all the ministers were equal in terms of their position levels irrespective of the ministry they were given.

However, an MP said that the transfer of the former labour minister reflected his poor performance. “There would be no reason to transfer the former minister if his performance was strong,” he said, adding that the job in the home ministry was much easier than in the rest of the ministries.

A voice clip in which a person claiming to be a DNT supporter from Athang-Thedtsho constituency says he would not support the ruling party in the upcoming election after the appointment of the new minister.

The man also claims that the DNT leadership had promised a minister for the constituency in case of a vacancy.

However, the Prime Minister denied having made any such commitments. “The expectation of people is taken positively,” he said.

The labour minister was appointed on September 8 at the Tashichhodzong in Thimphu.

He won the bye-election in June after the demise of the former MP Choida Jamtsho.

Lyonpo Karma Dorji holds a Masters degree in Information Technology from Curtin University of Technology in Australia and Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, Major in Telecommunications, SIIT, Thammasat University in Thailand.

Edited by Tashi Dema