The President of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) who is the Opposition Leader (OL) Dr Pema Gyamtsho will be joining the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as its new Director General in mid-October after the retirement of its current DG Dr David Molden. This is according to an announcement made public on 16 Jul by ICIMOD on its Facebook page.
When contacted on the phone, the OL said that he would take a decision and share the information with the media soon.
However, the General Secretary of DPT, Sangay Phurba, said that the matter has not been discussed at the party level. Moreover, he said the OL, himself, did not say anything on this so far, he added.
He said, “If he happens to leave then I must say it would be great loss to our party. We will be losing one talented leader.” He added that OL would be serving more by being in ICIMOD.
He also said that DPT will discuss and follow due process after OL’s decision and everything will be decided thereafter.
He said, “He has all the qualities of leadership, and he was the best in managing the party and keeping all the members together. He could take decisions from grassroots level till top. For him, the country and its welfare came first, and he kept in mind the vision of His Majesty The King.”
“OL has been serving the country at his best during his tenure and we have confidence in him that he would keep doing the same henceforth,” he said. DPT is now waiting for the OL’s official decision.
The OL is expected to put up his resignation following the course earlier taken by DPT’s North Thimphu MP Kinga Tshering in 2016. The subsequent bye election saw DPT’s initial candidate pulling out with a back up candidate coming in and the seat being lost to PDP by a large margin.
The 2018 elections saw a battle between the OL and his nephew and former BBS presenter from DNT, Dawa Tangpa, in which the OL won by a large margin. Without the OL there the bye election is expected to be a closer fight.
OL became the Agriculture Minister of Bhutan’s first democratically elected government.
He headed the Opposition Party from the second election after the resignation of DPT’s former President Dasho Jigmi Y. Thinley.
He has a Master’s degree in Agriculture Science from New Zealand and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He has also worked in many countries as an international expert in natural resources management including in ICIMOD.
Meanwhile, a source from the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) said that it is too early for them to comment on the matter, as they have not received any official letter from the OL so far.