Gelephu MP and former minister Karma Donnen Wangdi

Gelephu MP and former MoIC minister steps down citing health issues

The National Assembly today sent out a press release saying that the Speaker accepted the resignation of Karma Donnen Wangdi, former Minister for Information and Communication with effect form 19 June 2023.

The release says the Speaker accepted the resignation as per section 18 of the National Assembly Act 2008.

Section 18 says, “A member may, by writing under his or her hand, addressed to the Speaker, if the House is in session, or the Secretary General if the House is not in session, resign his or her seat therein, and upon the acceptance of such resignation by the Speaker, the seat of that member shall become vacant.”

The release says the acceptance comes after careful consideration and thorough deliberation recognizing the importance of upholding the principle of governance and democratic process.

The release said the former minister made commendable efforts and contribution as the Member of the National Assembly as a representative of the Gelephu constituency and having shouldered the very important responsibility of a cabinet minister.

The Speaker on behalf of the NA expressed gratitude for his services and extended heartfelt wishes for future endeavors.

According to a reliable source the MP cited his health treatment as the grounds of resignation.

There will be no by-elections since the MP has only around four and a half months of tenure left till 31st October and the requirement is to have 180 days of tenure left for by-elections.

The MP and former minister had not attended the current Parliament session putting up leave till the 18th of June and then he put up his resignation which was accepted on the 19th June by the Speaker.

The Press release from the NA does not refer to the former minister as an MP even once but stresses more on his former cabinet minister role.

The MP had to step down as minister is April 2023 even though the 10 ministries were reduced to 9 in December 2022.

Earlier the Prime Minister Dasho (Dr) Lotay Tshering in January 2023 said that five names which are willing to step down are himself, Lyonpo Dasho Dr Tandi Dorji, Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi and Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji.

The PM claimed they have already submitted their letters on why they want to step down.

Lyonchhen had said in January that bilateral discussions with the ministers are being held, and it should not take long.

However, it was only towards the end of April that a press release from the Prime Minister’s office claimed that the erstwhile Ministry of Information and Communications, Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi officially resigned from the Cabinet position.

The PMO press release quoted the former minister as saying ‘it was an honour to play the critical role, as his stepping aside contributes to the shaping of the transformation initiatives.’

The release quoted him saying “I will continue to serve my country in all possible ways, irrespective of the place and position.”

However, the refusal of the former minister to attend the last Parliament session by taking leave and then submitting his resignation when his leave ended indicates that things were not as smooth behind the scenes as it was made out to be.

This is the sixth time that a sitting MP has left office before completing his term since 2008.

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