Speaker and Deputy Speaker to be elected on 25 January
The Prime Minister elect Dasho Tshering Tobgay recently collected all the updated Curriculum Vitae or the CV of all the elected MPs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to decide on the list of ministers.
During a ceremony to distribute the ECB Certificates of the MP elects the PDP President emphasized that the speculations circulating on social media regarding the cabinet appointments are untrue. He reassured that he will select the best talents from the available pool without favouritism or bias, emphasizing his singular mission to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum.
When asked if the minister positions would be distributed regionally like in the past he said that is politics and the only guideline that will be used is what is in the best and imminent interest of the country and nothing else.
The PM elect said he would be looking at performance, ability and experience.
He said everyone is aware of the country’s situation and so he has to get in place a team that can deal with this situation.
The PM elect said that while he already had the CVs of the MP elects he wanted an updated version if they had to add anything else.
The ministers will be decided by the PM elect like in the past. He said, “The buck stops with me.”
The executive committee of the PDP is in agreement that the PM will take the final call.
The process normally is that the PM elect submits the names to His Majesty The King and after that under Article 2 section 16 in the Constitution the Druk Gyalpo in exercise of His Royal Prerogatives may award Dhar for the Lhengye in accordance with tradition and custom.
A final list of ministers is expected any time before the end of January 2024 when the Interim Government dissolves.
In the meantime, a list of potential ministers based on social media speculation and general views of ‘civil servants and political analysts’ published in a media outlet had led to many people assuming these MP elects would be the ministers. This is even though the article did not say it is the final list.
There were anxious calls between PDP MPs elects and the party office and others. However, it was found in the end that the list was based on speculation and views and was not the final list.
Bhutan is in the midst of an economic crisis, has the largest ever five-year plan to execute along with the Gelephu Mindfulness City Project and is attempting an economic, governance, education and technological transformation.
Given the above challenges and the daunting tasks before the 9-member cabinet the PM elect is expected to select a team of ministers will be capable enough to meet these challenges.
The task is only made more challenging with the loss of 3 experienced ministerial candidates from the east in Dasho Dorji Choden, Norbu Wangchuk and Yeshey Dorji and 1 Speaker candidate in the form of the former Cabinet Secretary Kinzang Wangdi.
In the meantime, the first sitting of the National Assembly (NA) will be held on 25 January where MP elects will submit their ECB certificates to the NA Secretary General (SG) after which the SG will deliver the welcome address and read out the Kasho.
The members will then wear their Patangs or Gentags and change their Kabneys and Rachus to the blue colour.
The Chief Justice of Bhutan will then administer the Oath of Affirmation of Office for the members and the members will sign the oath.
After this the members will vote for the post of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. The PM elect said that no name for a Speaker had been finalized yet.