Thursday, 24 April 2008

To serve without fear or favour

23 April, 2008 - In the presence of a kusung thugten (symbol of body, speech, and mind), that was placed on the Golden Throne to symbolize the blessing of His Majesty the King, Bhutan’s prime minister and cabinet ministers, the speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, and members of the Assembly took an oath of affirmation of office on April 21.

Administered by the Chief Justice, Lyonpo Sonam
Tobgye, in the National Assembly hall, the parliamentarians pledged to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of Bhutan, conscientiously discharge their duties in the service of the tsa-wa-sum (country, king, people) and perform the duties of their office without fear or favour, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution.

The prime minister, cabinet ministers, speaker and deputy speaker took a separate affirmation of secrecy, that they would not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter brought for their consideration or made known to them as minister or speaker, except when required for the discharge of their duties.

The National Assembly elected its speaker and deputy speaker on the same day. The members endorsed the nomination of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s candidate from Radhi-Sakteng constituency in Trashigang, Jigme Tshultim, as the speaker and Yangkhu Tshering Sherpa of Kikhorthang-Mendrelgang constituency in Tsirang as deputy speaker.

A proposal by the opposition leader, Tshering Tobgay, to nominate his PDP colleague, Damcho Dorji, as the deputy speaker was voted out by the members.

Members of the ruling party said that, if Damcho Dorji was elected as the deputy speaker, there would not be an opposition member to raise or deliberate issues. Damcho Dorji withdrew his nomination and supported Yangku Tshering Sherpa.

“It was unfortunate that nobody shared my opinion,” Tshering Tobgay told Kuensel after the election.

According to the National Assembly secretary, Nima Tshering, the role of speaker would differ from the past. In the new system, the speaker’s role would be to maintain the decorum of the National Assembly, conduct the sessions, and grant leave to members. “The speaker cannot take his own decisions, based on two or three submissions,” he told Kuensel. “Decisions will be based on consensus.”

The members of the National Assembly received an audience with His Majesty the King after the ceremony.

No comments: