The Parliament resolved that in regards to Budget and Appropriation Bill,these must be referred by the Speaker to the Parliamentary Committee. Till now the Opposition being in the minority position could not influence the Budget shape and National Council had no power to do so. On top of that even the MPs of the ruling Party had very little say in the matter of Budget. It was kind of prerogative of the Cabinet.
With this amendment the Government would be forced to consult its own MPs and also take into consideration the views of other Parliament members. In a way it was a boomerang effect. The Governments of past and present sometimes justified their lopsided decisions on the passing of the Budget Bill that MPs hardly had the time and background information to actually digest the implications.
The inexperience of the Government was highlighted with the Finance Minister telling the media that he had not been prepared for such a turn of event. The Government concern is genuine and valid. Now the Budget which is the hall mark of any Government of the day is going to be a kind of Coalition Budget forced on a single Party Government. Its a strange political demand on governance. So where does this leave the democratically elected Government and its election commitment?
The other Shocker was the turnstile decision of the Parliament regarding the much vented vengeance against the resignation of former Prime Minister who had resigned after being elected as MP. The proposed amendment would not have had financial impact on Lyonchen Jigmi Thinley even if it went through but it would have been a vengeance in the form of a kind of moral slap. However in its final decision the Parliament yesterday decided to endorse the right of an MP to resign. So its a kind of moral victory for the 1st democratic Prime Minister of Bhutan.
I always supported the resignation for the reason that it is the most advisable step for any Bhutanese if he is accused by Opponents as challenging the Throne. To remove any doubt simply remove yourself from any seat of political power including Party Presidential seat. Therefore I could never really comprehend the ulterior motive of the ruling Party and the National Council crying foul and demanding stiff penalties for resigning.
Regarding the post of Party President, I initially felt that he owed it to the Party supporters and the democratic voice to stay on but the subsequent uproar by ruling Party and Members in NC made me understand the necessity for him to resign from Party Presidency Post. It made no sense to even appear to be in a challenging position to the Throne that is the heart of national sovereignty.
I was initially anxious of the political situation after the 15 Points submission directly to the Throne by the DPT Party. If warranted it should have been to the Election Commission not that anything would have come out of it given the all powerful position the Election Commission enjoys. But unwanted rumour would not have been fueled. So the news of the resignation was a relief to me. All I wanted to know was the procedure Lyonchen followed in leading up to the resignation letter, as it would indicate the political implication. I took upon myself to verify and requested for an appointment with Lyonchen Jigmi Yoeser Thinley. I said it was a courtesy call and I received an appointment.
His Excellency clarified that he requested for an audience with His Majesty the King. Unfortunately he was not able to receive an early audience and meanwhile the date for National Assembly swearing in ceremony for elected MPs was approaching. With just few days left he appealed for an audience with His Majesty the 4th King. During the audience he submitted his intended resignation and according to him, His Majesty felt it would be alright since he was no longer the Opposition leader. The DPT Party had already elected Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho as their Leader in Opposition.
I felt that he had followed the correct protocol procedure though I wish the audience with the King on the Throne had materialized. But there could have been many reasons including of the possible easy attitude of Dasho Secretary in the Royal Secretariat that could have resulted in delayed or no response.
I have chosen to relate this because in a calmer atmosphere now a little clarity may help. The complete turn about by the Parliament yesterday on MP resignation issue also suggest that realism had dawned.
I ask the readers not to read too much on my impulse to meet the resignation issue headlong. Its in my nature. I had confronted the Coordinator of Danida when the Office of Denmark in Thimphu tried to sow the seed of distrust and disparity among Bhutanese youths. Nobody asked me to do so. As a Bhutanese I had to. Likewise I approached Lyonchen Jigme Thinley to find out how he resigned and whether he had followed the unwritten but sacred protocol decorum of the Kingdom. I thank both the Danida Coordinator and Lyonchen for agreeing to see me and provide insights. On both occasions we exchanged views in gentlemanly and cordial manner. I however apologise to Lyonchen for sharing in public what was a two person discussion. It was not an interview. Simply a courtesy he accorded as one fellow Bhutanese to another.
I will always put the welfare and stability of my nation before any self preservation thought. I am an insignificant person but the call of citizen responsibility will be answered till my last breath. I owe my self well being to this Nation, the Kings and my family. I cannot stay still or keep silent when nation changing events take place. It is my duty to tell the honest truth from my side and then accept what life shell out.
I feel the breeze of national unity finally charming the forlorn willow of politics. I feel the sceptre of the Throne and the principle of Democracy together in united strength tilling the field of Democracy to produce national harvest for all Bhutanese. I feel the grace of Pelden Drukpa gradually steering the nation from senseless acrimony to wiser path. May we all be united in our love for the nation and desire to strengthen the sovereignty and overall welfare of Bhutanese of all walks.
Pelden Drukpa ! Lha Gyel Lo !