Yesterday’s National Council (NC) session saw all the NC MPs outraged with the National Assembly (NA)’s letter directing the upper house to withdraw the national flag bill.
The NC has refused to with draw the national flag bill.
The bill was passed by the NC during the eighth session but NA had asked NC to withdraw the bill. The lower house cited ‘lack of proper procedures to pass private member’s bills’ as the reason.
The NC MP Kuenlay Tshering said the NA decision to reject the national flag bill was baseless since the MPs who drafted it went through every proper procedure and in accordance to the constitution plus every law maker was consulted.
He said if the procedure was not proper, then it should have been rejected years back when it came into formation. He said he supported not to withdraw the bill.
NC MP Karma Donnen Wangdi said the NA members might have taken the private member’s bill as a private bill. He said the two bills vastly differ from each other, since the private member’s bills have proper procedures but not the private bills.
“Looking through the statement sent by the NA to the NC, it probably reflects that there is a lack of mutual respect and trust between the two houses,” said Karma Donnen Wangdi.
MP Kuenlay Tshering said since the NA has refused to pass the national flag bill and asked the NC to withdraw it, so it is inevitable that the NC will go for His Majesty’s assent.
Trashiyangtse NC MP Kesang Namgyal described the NC session as a sad event, as the bill was initially introduced as it concerned the national sovereignty.
The Trashiyangtse NC MP also supported not to withdraw the national flag bill.
Pemagatshel NC MP Jigmi Rinzin said, “I don’t support the withdrawal of the national flag bill because it is very crucial”.
The NC Chairperson Namgye Penjor said the drafting of the national flag bill was discussed since the seventh NC session and two NC MPs took the initiative to formally draft a bill and introduced it in the eighth session.
The NC Chairperson concluded that even though the NA has asked the NC to withdraw the bill, since all the NC MPs are in favor of passing the bill, NC will go-about according to the provisions of the constitution’s Article 13 section 8.
According to the section a joint sitting will convene and through the command of His Majesty the two houses will vote during the joint sitting.
However the NC Legislative committee chairman Kuenlay Tshering declared that the bill will proceed according to all the legislative and constitutional procedures and asked the members to cast their vote.
17 members out of 18 voted to proceed while one abstained.