Off late most media houses have been speculating on the resignation of the former Prime Minister ex-Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley who is also the DPT President.
The media speculation has come about because of the Speaker’s office raising various legal and other doubts ranging from interpretation of the National Assembly Act to issues over election costs.
It is not clear why there is so much fuss as the laws from the Constitution to the National Assembly Act allows any MP to resign from the National Assembly. The legal provisions clearly support the move made by the former Prime Minister.
The other aspect to look at is that the former Prime Minister in spite of his flaws or shortcomings has contributed a lot to the nation since he joined the civil service in 1974.
Even early in his career he did wonders for the Royal Civil Service Commission creating a merit based professional Civil Service system compared to the old system where ministers had full powers. He was recognized in 1987 and given a Red Scarf for his services. In 1990 when he was appointed the Zonal head of the Eastern Zone he delivered so well that people still remember him to this day for his services there.
In doing all this work he never took personal credit but always reminded the people that they had to be grateful to His Majesty the Fourth King.
The former Prime Minister represented Bhutan extremely well at the United Nations after his appointment as the Permanent Representative in 1994 and under the guidance of the Fourth King strengthened Bhutan’s international presence.
During his stint in the new cabinet from 1998 to 2007 under various capacities which included being the Prime Minister twice and also as the Home Minister and Foreign Minister left a trail of good achievements.
People may have a short memory but at the time it was universally accepted that the two best Ministers in the cabinet where Lyonpo Jigmi Y Thinley and Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup.
It was also well know that Jigmi Y Thinley served so well that he was one of the few ministers that the Fourth King looked favorably on.
From 2008 to 2013 my opinion is that Jigmi Y Thinley tried his best coming from the background that he did. Though there were failures there were also many achievements in terms of socio-economic development in rural areas, transition to democracy and a more vibrant presence for Bhutan on the international stage. The DPT government in not just Jigmi Y Thinely but consists of other ministers and leaders, so blame for controversies or failures must be laid at their door step too.
In terms of personal quality the former Prime Minister falls in that rare class of Bhutanese leaders who respected women both at his workplace and in his professional life.
Despite his flaws chief among which was allowing his party to go ahead with the unbhutanese YDF meeting the nation should not forget this leader’s enormous contribution to the nation.
As a Buddhist nation we should also show compassion to the former Prime Minister who just lost his mother before the elections and then finally lost the elections. I would like to request the Speaker to allow the former Prime Minister to resign in peace and dignity.
by Karma Tshering