Cabinet has not taken the issue seriously and do not consider it a matter of national importance: Opposition Party
In the press release of the opposition party states that it is clear from the way the government speak, and from what they have said, that the Cabinet has not taken the issue seriously and do not consider it a matter of national importance.
In the press release it states that, the government have also demonstrated total disregard for the role of the OP and are sounding increasingly reckless and indifferent to public opinion and rule of law.
The press release further states that the PM as usual, shrugged off his responsibility by simply saying that the OP’s stand is “meaningless and damaging.” According to him, our position is meaningless because we have begun by appreciating the RCSC’s decision and immediately followed that by attacking RCSC and the government. He further went on saying that the cabinet has only referred the matter to RCSC and that the OP is attacking them in saying that the secretaries must be reinstated.
The PM’s logic has lost any meaning and his now well-known habit of rewording and rephrasing his words to bail himself and his cabinet out was in play again. In their Press Release of 12th December 2014, they have made their action explicit by stating “surrender the cabinet secretary, secretary of ministry of foreign affairs and secretary of ministry of economic affairs to RCSC with immediate effect…” and not “referred” to RCSC as announced by the PM during the last Meet the Press, states the press release.
According to the press release, if the matter was only “referred” to the RCSC and not “surrendered” as mentioned, then the secretaries should have continued to work in their positions till the completion of the RCSC’s investigation.
The OP has in no way attacked the RCSC. In fact, it has acknowledged that the RCSC has subscribed to the procedures laid out in dealing with the case of surrendered civil servants, which in effect was what they could realistically do within the bounds of their mandate, states the press release.
It further states that, unlike what the home minister said, it was not the OP who had stated that the Cabinet had violated the provisions of the Constitution, the CSA and the BCSR, but the RCSC, which through its press release of 29th December explicitly spelt out that “the RCSC was not able to accept the surrendering of the three government secretaries in view of the following legal provisions which includes: Chapter I, Section 4 and 6; Chapter iv, Section 45 k of the Civil Service Act, 2010; Chapter 19, Section 19.2.6, Section 19.2.7 of the BCSR; Article 26, Section 1 and 10 of the Constitution of Bhutan.”
To recap, what the RCSC had stated was that the Cabinet in surrendering the senior secretaries had not followed due process of law and violated the above laws. The question we raised was, how and who should hold the cabinet responsible for such serious violations, states the press release.
Press release says that following their first press release on 19th December 2014, the Cabinet had accused them of politicizing the matter and inciting discord between the civil servants and the elected government. While they chose to forget that they have accused the CoS of running a “parallel government” and thus alienating the bureaucracy, they had the audacity to accuse us of doing so.
According to press release, to avoid being accused of politicizing, when OP suggested the NC as an apolitical house of review to look into the matter, they turned around and accused us of trying to ‘pull in the National Council.” Does that mean, neither the OP nor the NC have any role to play in providing the required checks and balance to the ruling government? Surely, the Cabinet does not assume that whatever it decides is above criticism and beyond questioning.
On the issue of the OP not cooperating with the government, if the cabinet felt that the matter was of such national im- portance and sensitivity, they should have taken us into confidence before taking the decision to surrender the secretaries, states the press.
Press release also states that while the OP do not see the need to draw in the GoI in what we see as a purely internal administrative affair, the minister of economic affairs has once again alluded that “the most substantial charges against the secretaries is that they’d sent a letter to the government of India and to us, that letter, in tone and language weren’t befitting of the government of Bhutan writing to its friendly neighbour India”.
We have found that the letter does not in any way pose jeopardize our unique relations with India, either in tone or language. While, the RCSC’s press release does not refer to this specific charge, it can be deduced that they found no cause for concern, states the press.
Besides that, the press also states that, the explanations given by the minister for economic affairs on his role in this whole affair has further confused us and the public by his changing statements. He has clearly misinformed and misled the nation by first denying any knowledge of the CoS’s action and now acknowledging that he was aware of the issue which was also noted by the RCSC.
Meanwhile, in the press release states that the Cabinet must be held accountable for not following due process and for violation of the Constitution, the CSA and the BCSR and the minister for economic affairs for misinforming and misleading the nation.