To streamline the National Assembly procedure, all 47 members-elect of the House will take the oath of affirmation of office in the blue scarf on October 31.

According to the National Assembly secretariat, the members will change their kabney in the National Assembly hall before the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Chief Justice Tshering Wangchuk will administer the oath of affirmation of office.

The National Assembly secretariat has listed election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker as the last item in the agenda. This is in compliance with constitutional provisions that state that a person seeking election to the post must be a Member of Parliament first.

Secretary general of the National Assembly, Sangay Duba, said: “The members-elect will enter the hall with ordinary kabney and then change their kabney. Then they will take the oath of affirmation of office.”

Sangay Duba said that the secretariat had not received any nomination as of yesterday. He said that the secretariat requested the winning party to submit their nominations latest by the evening of October 30 to enable the secretariat to make arrangements for the election.

However, the secretary general said that the names of the candidates would be confidential until October 31. Any member may submit a nomination of a member for the post of the Speaker although the winning party normally nominates a candidate.

Article 12(3) of the Constitution states that at the first sitting after any general election, the National Assembly shall elect Speaker and Deputy Speaker from among its members. The Druk Gyalpo shall, by warrant under His hand and seal, confer Dakyen to the Speaker.

The members will sit according to the seat allocation, as there will be no ministers in the first sitting, according to the secretariat. The prime minister elect, Dr Lotay Tshering, will recommend the names of ministers only after the members take oath of office.

At the first sitting, Ku Sung Thugten will be ushered in the National Assembly hall as a symbolic representation of His Majesty the King and place it on the Golden Throne. The secretary general will read out the Kasho.

According to the rules of procedures, members shall present their certificate of election to the secretary general for registration.

The secretary general or in his absence the immediate official next to him shall preside over the election of the Speaker. The Speaker shall remain non-partisan.

MB Subba