As a continuous house, the third National Council constituted the elected members on Thursday during the first sitting of the new term after the election. The election of the Chairperson and the deputy chairperson was also done on the same day.
Tashi Dorji, 36 from Wangdue Phodrang was elected as the Chairperson of the house after securing 11 votes of the total 25 members. The other 5 members who contested for chairmanship are Nima from Bumthang and Lhatu from Trashigang who secured 4 votes each, Tshewang Rinzin from Thimphu, Pema Dakpa from Zhemgang and Sangay Dorji from Chukha who all secured 2 votes each.
Tashi Dorji said that more than celebrating the fact that he has been elected as the chairman of the house, it is more important to be concerned about the swift proceedings of the house hereafter. “As delivered in my 10-minute speech allotted for speaking about my pledges and promises in front of my colleagues, I intend to take on this responsibility of chairmanship with the intention of working as team and promoting teamwork among the members of the house,” said Tashi Dorji.
Tashi Dorji holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, New York. He also worked as a protocol officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006- 2007 and was the chief executive officer at Bhutan Nyinzer Expeditions from the year 2010 – 2012.
In an earlier interview with The Bhutanese before the Thrizin election, Tashi Dorji (36) said we was eligible for the Thrizin’s post due to three reasons. He said the first was because he had served for the past five years with ample opportunities to spearhead several Committees and Joint Parliamentary Committees as Chairperson coupled with his conviction to run for the seat.
The second reason he gave was that since he was fully abreast with the strength and weaknesses of the House, he can ably discharge the responsibilities effectively and efficiently.
His third reason was that he would be more accessible and approachable with the majority of the elected members being in his age group, and that he said guarantees a perfect stage for exemplary team work.
Tashi had also pointed out that since the NC is a continuous house his experience would be important.
During the April NC polls he told this paper that as a candidate his main priority was to reduce the disparity between the rich and the poor, and focus on policy concerning such issues. He reaffirmed to serve his people and country with the utmost loyalty and dedication.
In April he had said that his top priority for this term would be to work closely with the Local Government and focus on assuring self-sufficiency of every household.
After winning a landslide victory for a third term in the National Council (NC) from Samdrupjongkhar, Jigme Wangchuk, has gone on to win the seat of the Deputy Chairperson in NC.
Securing 13 votes of the total 25 votes, Jigme Wangchuk, beat the other two contenders to secure the seat. Ugyen Namgay secured nine votes and Tashi Samdrup had three votes for the Deputy Chairperson seat election.
Jigme Wangchuk said the people of Samdrupjongkhar voted for him because he has served in the NC for the last 10 years. “I will contribute and complete the important tasks that could not be complete in my first and second terms, owing to lack of time,” he said.
He said although many people encouraged him to compete for the Chairperson seat, he felt he was better suited to become the Deputy Chairperson.
“Most of them told me to contest for NC Chairperson, but due to my age and experience, I felt I am not capable for the seat. Likewise, winning third term for National Council, I felt that I have potential to be the Deputy Chairperson, and so I contested and got elected,” he said.
He said a Deputy Chairperson fills in for the Thrizin whenever the Thrizin is not in station. He said the Deputy Chairperson has to deal with most of the office work, and is the bridge between the Chairperson and the elected members.
“Our work will not be so easy. The previous Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson have set a strong precedent, so we don’t have to do anything differently. We just have to grow in the position and continue the good work,” he said.
He also pointed out that his 10-year tenure has helped to shape his personal experience and pave the path to serving the people in a better way. “The choice is in the hands of the general public and the opportunity they have given me to serve the nation and the people for 10 years has really opened my experience in diverse fields. I hope it will be same in this 3rd term,” he said.
“I offer my profound gratitude to the people of Samdrupjongkhar for having elected me as the National Council member for the 3rd terms as well as Deputy Chairperson now,” he added.
Jigme Wangchuk said a National Council member must focus on legislative works. He cited an example of the unemployment issues discussed in the first and second terms, “When there is a new government, there are new legislative and other issues and as a National Council member, we have to work related to it,” he mentioned.
Further, he pointed out that he would like to use his own experience of last two terms as a legislator, of having interacted with the relevant institutions and people from all walks of life over the years, to fulfill the noble vision of a just and harmonious society.
In an earlier interview with the paper before the Deputy Thrizin election he asked for the support of his colleagues saying that since it is his third term he would serve as the institutional memory of the NC. He said that in case a new first time NC was elected as the Chairman then he can be a mentor to the new Chairman.
During the April NC polls he told this paper that his 10-year tenure has helped shaped his personal experience and paved the path to serve them in better way.