Today is the last day in office for members of the second National Council (NC).

The house will be re-constituted tomorrow with elections for a new Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.

Deputy chair and spokesperson, Tshering Dorji said that the house has been able to fulfill its mandate in the last 10 years.

“The greatest strength of the NC lies in its unity and the ability to carry out its parliamentary work without being bound by voters or interest group and function in a non- partisan manner to ensure that the government safeguards the interest of the nation and fulfills the aspiration of the people,” he said.

He said that over the last decade, the NC has not only established itself in the new environment of Bhutanese polity but also upheld its mandate successfully.  “For that I would like to offer our deepest gratitude to the people for their support and with greatest humility acknowledge the guidance and wisdom of the Thrizin, colleagues and the NC secretariat,” the Deputy Chairperson said. “Today, as we come to the end of our tenure, I leave the house with a sense of contentment and fulfillment.”

Today, the new NC candidates will nominate their choice for the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.  The nominees will be given 10 minutes each to speak before the members as part of their campaign.

Nima from Bumthang, Sangay Dorji from Chukha, Lhatu from Trashigang, Tashi Dorji from Wangdue, Tshewang Rinzin from Thimphu and Zhemgang’s Pema Dakpa are expected to vie for the chairpersonship.

Incoming members who have expressed their intention to run for the post of Deputy Chairperson are Ugyen Namgay from Haa, Jigme Wangchuk from Samdrupjongkhar and Tashi Samdrup from Trongsa.

The roles of a Chairperson is to preside over the NC and enforce its rules of procedure for the orderly conduct of the proceedings, preserve dignity and decorum in the hall, maintain discipline among the members and sign Bills passed by the house.

The Chairperson also represents the house of review in its relation with the Druk Gyalpo, the Executive and the Judiciary and establishes inter-parliamentary relations.

The Deputy Chairperson presides over sittings whenever the Chairperson from illness or other cause finds it necessary to leave the chair during any part of the sitting.

The Deputy Chairperson presiding over the sitting during the period of the Chairperson’s absence shall enjoy the same powers and privileges of the Chairperson. He shall also perform the duties of the Chairperson and every such act performed by him shall have the same effect and validity as that of the Chairperson.

Five incumbent members have been re-elected. Nine out of the 14 incumbent members, who contested, lost.

The incumbent Chairperson Sonam Kinga (PhD) and secretary general Chencho Tshering held a briefing session for the incoming members.

The Chairperson, who comes from Trashigang, Dagana’s Sonam Dorji, Punakha’s Rinzin Dorji, Kaka Tshering from Paro, Jigmi Rinzin from Pemagatshel and Sangay Khandu from Samtse did not re-contest.

MB Subba