PM and four ministers offer to step down as 9 ministries are left

Five names including Lyonchhen came forward in stepping down from the post voluntarily. Lyonchhen Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering, Lyonpo Dasho Dr Tandi Dorji, Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi and Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji are the five names willing to step down.

They have already submitted their letters on why they want to step down.

The PM said DNT is functioning as Royal Government of Bhutan, and therefore, has no time for its party work. According to the Lyonchhen, there is no individual or machinery running DNT. Therefore, Lyonpo Dasho Dr Tandi Dorji justified that he wants to run the party by stepping down.

Likewise, Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji justified that he is unable to pay a constant visit to his constituency as it being very far. Thereby, he wants to step down so that he can spend few months in his constituency with the people and touch base with everyone.

Lyonchhen shared the names during the meet-the-press, responding to a question from a reporter. One among five will step down. However, they are yet to discuss and finalize on who will be the one to step down.

Lyonchhen said, “They have given me, in writing, justifying their decision. Difficult situation was to choose one from 11 members, but now we are just five. They are above politics, and a name will be decided soon.” 

Lyonchhen further said that there are ten cabinet portfolios, and they are eleven including himself. There are three options that he sees in coming to a conclusion, and said that he would be the happiest person to step down.

He said, “I am the Party President and Head of the Government. I am not able to step out of Thimphu at all. I want to go all out, meet with local leaders and communicate with people, and see if what we did for them has really helped them.”

PM has been to 11 gewogs in Samdrupjongkhar, 8 gewogs in Lhuentse and 4 gewogs in Bumthang. There was no chance to visit the rest of the gewogs and other dzongkhags.

Due to the pandemic, the mid-term review was also done online, and even today, even if I want to go out for a day, issues come up and the need of taking major decisions, PM said.

He shared with his Cabinet Ministers that he would step down so that he can go around meet with people and run the party as they have potential ministers who can run the government. That is one option he sees.

The second option, he said, “From the time of discussion on the replacement of the Home Minister, three ministers wanted to step down so that we can have new faces in the Cabinet. I was given an option of inducting four new faces back then. Since I have the three names still with me, I will discuss with them and elevate one.”

The third option, he said that during a discussion, one of the ministers said that they do not want him to step down, and that the particular Lyonpo would step down and take the initiative to run the party.

Another minister stood and for the second time he said he would want to step down as he is not able to pay a visit to his constituency.

Meanwhile, Lyonchhen said, “Lyonpo Karma Dorji said he would be happy to step down, however, I am not going to go beyond the numbers I got. Though Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi does not have a ministry, he is one straight cutting abled cabinet member.”

According to Lyonchhen, bilateral discussions with the ministers are being held, and it should not take long, but he is insisting that the ministers should consider what he has reported, as it is his moral responsibility to lead the party.

Leading the party is also serving the nation, the PM said.

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