Sunday, 11 May 2008

PM of Bhutan, Opposition Leader and NC Chairperson pledge to work together

The parliament session yesterday saw the Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley, the Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay, Chairperson of the National Council and other parliamentarians addressing the house.

Addressing house, the Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley said the government will strive to build a strong foundation for a vibrant democracy for the present and future wellbeing of the nation as commanded by His Majesty the King at the opening of the parliament session on Thursday.

He said while democracy is not highly regarded in many countries, the fault seems to lie not with the form of government but people who practice politics. Therefore, he said it is important for the parliamentarians to set the example for future members by working selflessly for the good of the country and the people.

He said the new government will strive to achieve Gross National Happiness and ensure equity and justice. He said the new government will focus on poverty alleviation which is one of the main objectives of the 10th five year plan. He said to do that through sustained socio-economic development, the government will focus on private sector development among other measures.

He said one of the biggest challenges facing the nation is youth unemployment. He said the new government will strive to provide jobs to as many Bhutanese youth by implementing various measures.

The Prime Minister thanked the people for giving Druk Phuensum Tshogpa the opportunity to form the first democratically elected government and serve the country.

Thanking the People’s Democratic Party and its President, he said the democratic elections would not have been possible without two parties coming forward to contest the elections. He said while there are only two members in the opposition, he has no doubt that they will be able to shoulder the responsibilities given their competence and experience.

He said since the elections are now over, it is important for the people to not think about party politics and live together happily as brothers and as good neighbours. He said the government will also treat everybody equally like members of one large united family regardless of their part affiliations.

Addressing the assembly yesterday morning, the Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay said the transition to parliamentary democracy has been successful. He said the process was smooth and fair.

He said although the People’s Democratic Party won only two seats in the parliament, they received the support of 33% of the voters and thanked the people across the kingdom for their support. Tshering Tobgay also thanked his PDP colleagues for appointing him as the Opposition Leader.

The Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay assured the ruling party of their full support. He said the opposition and the ruling parties must work together hand in hand to fulfill the aspirations of His Majesty the King, the people and the socio economic development of the country.

The Chairperson of the National Council Namgay Penjore congratulated the ruling party and the opposition for coming forward to take part in the historic elections and for answering to the call of the nation. He said the democratization process has culminated in what we are seeing and experiencing today.

He said the decentralization process including the establishment of DYT and GYT gave ample opportunity for the people to prepare for democracy.

He said even though the opposition has only two members and the governing party 45 members, the people need not worry. He said the ultimate aim of all the members is to serve the people. He said the National Council will serve the country with dedication and loyalty.

Other members of the assembly also addressed the house.

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