If everyone is the same and if everyone is dubbed ‘a political party’, then probably one of them will pull a wild card… to stand out.
In a press conference yesterday the Bhutan Kuen-Ngyam Party (BKP), Spokesperson Sonam Tobgay presented ‘a very rare political ethos’ as he described it.
The BKP spokesperson said that if the constitution allows, it would harness the opposition party’s capability by offering a ministerial portfolio to the opposition leader in the cabinet secretariat but he said it is subject to a debate as the constitution does not clearly state any of these specifications.
However the constitution may not have provisions to allow the ruling party to grant a ministerial post to an opposition leader.
“It won’t be allowed,” an Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) official said.
The BKP spokesperson said that the model of ruling party and opposition party has lots of disadvantages and that the role of the opposition party is being underutilized. He said that the current percentage of opposition representation in the parliament is 33% and the opposition party is not given due priority.
The BKP believes that if it comes to power then as said earlier it would entertain a ministerial position for the opposition leader as well, this the BKP believes would generate ‘ultimate transparency’ within the governing system. The party said maintaining a constant account on checks and balances will be consistent and reliable within the executive body.
He said the constitution states that the post of the prime minister or a minister should be an elected member of the National Assembly and a natural born citizen of Bhutan. So abiding by this, there is no complexity in the BKP system to go ahead with their policies if they come to power after the second round elections next year.
The BKP spokesperson said that this can be productive as the ruling party and the opposition party can work together and furthermore they can harness the capabilities of the opposition party members, and that he said is subjected to the constitution’s provisions. He also described it as a move that could increase the level of competency in the government with sharing of views and ideas.
According to the BKP till now the cabinet meetings has more or less been behind closed doors specially for opposition entities but the party says it will be good for the interest of the democracy to have a system of governance which has cabinet members not only from the ruling party but also from the opposition party as well.
In a write-up the BKP spokesperson presented, one of the disadvantages of having a ruling and opposition party model is that, during the 2008 elections there were incidences of family broken and communities divided merely by taking stand on different political parties. And one of the points it believes was that the needs of the people who supported the opposition party does not necessarily receive due priority.
“Such an arrangement also ensures the reflection of the needs and concerns of the people who supported the opposition party, thus also assuring maximum participation without societal divisions or faction,” it stated.
Asked on the viability of this ‘model’, the spokesperson said, “This is a challenge we would like to pose ourselves”.
Besides this the BKP spokesperson also revealed that the party will at least have eight offices around the country. He said the party will have an office in Wangduephodrang which will serve Punakha and Gasa, an office in Trongsa to serve Bumthang and Zhemgang while the office in Thimphu will serve Paro, Chukha and Haa. While an office in Mongar will serve Lhuentse and an office at Trashigang for Trashiyangtse.
The Bhutan Kuen-Ngyam Party has 29 members so far and only six individuals has come to public light but the spokesperson says it will increase and the party will register itself next month.