Need for revision of laws

This is being raised following the resignation of DPT president JYT among other factors

The National Assembly (NA), in its first session of the second Parliament, shall review relevant provisions of existing laws to consider proper procedures and consequences with regard to resignation by Member of Parliaments (MPs) post elections, NA Speaker Jigme Zangpo said at a press conference last week.

Following People Democratic Party’s (PDP) landslide victory during the recent general elections, despite his assurance to public during the campaign period to serve as an Opposition or the Government, the former Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley, who was one of the 15 DPT candidates elected in the recent general elections to form the Opposition, had submitted his resignation on July 31.

The resignation was accepted by the Speaker on August 10.

According to the Section 18 of NA Act, 2008, a MP may resign by submitting resignation in writing to the Speaker while in house, or Secretary General if the house is not in session.

“It provides for a simple procedure concerning resignation without any proviso providing for consequences for resigning without valid reasons,” the Tshogpon said. “Given the inadequacies in the enacted law, the right to liberty to resign cannot be denied to the applicant,” he added.

He said law was unclear and various provisions were studied before taking the decision. With such provisions, the Speaker may refuse to accept resignation, on the other hand, Section 21 of the Act states that a member remaining absent for more than one-fourth of the number of days in session without permission of the House will have to vacate his or her seat.

In amending the provisions, the Speaker said NA will make sure the members-elects live up to the trust reposed on them by the electorate, prevent inconvenience to the voting population, who has to participate in an “avoidable” by-elections, and to ensure the Exchequer was not burdened by having to incur expenses for by-elections triggered by resignations.

The House will also look into “mitigating” the “lacuna” presented by the two sections of the NA Act.

The Speaker also thanked the former Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley for his contributions made to democratically elected Parliament, and the service rendered to the nation as first democratically elected Prime Minister. The Nanong- Shumar seat remains vacant for now, and the by-election will be held within 90 days from the acceptance of resignation.

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