More than dozen serv­ing MPs to be re­placed

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Chen­cho Dema from Thim­phu

The Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) in­tro­duced seven new can­di­dates as the party’s front-run­ners to con­test in the third par­lia­men­tary elec­tions this year.

Of the seven can­di­dates an­nounced last week, three are for­mer Na­tional Coun­cil mem­bers - Kaka Tsh­er­ing from Lam­gong Wangchang con­stituency in Paro, Sonam Dorji from Druk­jey­gang –Tseza con­stituency in Da­gana (to re­place MP Karma Dorji), and San­gay Khandu from Trashich­hoel­ing con­stituency in Samtse (to re­place MP Ritu Raj Ch­hetri).

Two sec­re­taries; for­mer cabi­net sec­re­tary Kin­zang Wangdi from Bartsham Shong­phu con­stituency in Trashigang and for­mer for­eign sec­re­tary Tsh­er­ing Dorji from Kabji-Talo con­stituency in Pu­nakha; For­mer Di­rec­tor of City Bus Ser­vice Sonam Dendup from Mong­gar con­stituency in Mong­gar (to re­place speaker Jigme

Zangpo) and the for­mer chief en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cer of Pu­natshangchhu project, Gon­sar Karma Ch­hopel from Rad­hiSak­ten con­stituency in Trashigang, are among the seven can­di­dates that PDP an­nounced.

The rul­ing party has 33 mem­bers presently in the 47-mem­ber Na­tional Assem­bly.

Mean­while, Busi­ness Bhutan as of now has learnt that PDP will be re­plac­ing around 13 of their serv­ing MPs for the 2018 elec­tions.

The names in­clude MP Tshe­wang Jurmi from Ch­hu­mig –Ura con­stituency in Bumthang (to be re­placed by Trongsa Dzondag Sonam Rinchen). Ru­mors are do­ing the rounds that MP Tshe­wang Jurmi will be join­ing Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party. MP Tshe­wang Jurmi, ad­mit­ting that he has no knowl­edge about him be­ing re­placed, said he has no fur­ther com­ment.

Sim­i­larly, MP Gopal Gu­rung of Gele­phug con­stituency, who would be re­placed by Zhem­gang Dzongdag Harka Singh Ta­mang, said he has no is­sue about the re­place­ment. “I am go­ing to be re­placed and I am happy to be away from pol­i­tics,” he added.

MP MK Ch­hetri from Ugyentse-Yoe­seltse con­stituency in Samtse and MP Pelzang Wangchuk from Jo­mot­shangkha con­stituency in Sam­drup Jongkhar are also in the list of re­place­ment.

MP MK Ch­hetri said he wel­comed the re­place­ment. “I have noth­ing to say and the party seems to have found bet­ter can­di­dates and I wel­come the re­place­ment. I can’t be there per­ma­nently,” he said. He would be re­placed by a busi­ness­man, Mani Prad­han.

Mean­while, MP Pelzang Wangchuk said he had ap­plied for res­ig­na­tion and he is sat­is­fied with what he has done as an MP. “Who­ever comes in my place will serve bet­ter than me,” he added. Dr. Lobzang is re­port­edly believed to re­place him.

While Ly­onpo Ngeema San­gay Tshempo, the la­bor min­is­ter from Lhamoi Dz­ingkha –Tashid­ing con­stituency in Da­gana is on paid leave since Jan­uary for al­leged cor­rup­tion cases in train­ing pro­grams fa­cil­i­tated by the min­istry, it’s learnt that the min­is­ter might also be re­placed.

MP Do­phu Dukpa, who would be re­placed by for­mer for­eign sec­re­tary Tsh­er­ing Dorji from Kabji-Talo con­stituency in Pu­nakha, said he had ap­proached the agriculture min­is­ter since Oc­to­ber last year and had sug­gested the for­mer sec­re­tary as a suit­able can­di­date for his re­place­ment. “I re­ally do not want to re-con­test but want to ven­ture into other busi­nesses. On a mu­tual un­der­stand­ing I am leav­ing the party. My sup­port will be there for the party as this is the only party I know since 2013,” he said, adding that it also meant the end of his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.

MP Karma Dorji from Druk­jey­gang –Tseza con­stituency in Da­gana said he is leav­ing for fur­ther stud­ies and did not com­ment fur­ther. Ru­mors are rife that MP Karma Dorji might join Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa.

And for MP Rinzin Dorji from Som­pangkha con­stituency in Sarpang and MP Kezang D Wangmo from Lam­gong Wangchang con­stituency in Paro, the two can­di­dates had vol­un­tar­ily asked for re­place­ment. While MP Rinzin Dorji did not cite any rea­son for his res­ig­na­tion, MP Kezang D Wangmo, it’s learnt, is plan­ning to pur­sue higher stud­ies.

The Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the PDP, Sonam Jatso said feed­backs on some MPs are not good and con­tin­u­ous as­sess­ment is be­ing done presently.

He said, “We have al­ready an­nounced new can­di­dates in place of a few MPs who will not be re-con­test­ing in the up­com­ing elec­tions. We will be an­nounc­ing a few more soon. De­ci­sion on a can­di­date, whether new or re­place­ment of the serv­ing MPs, is made col­lec­tively and not by the party pres­i­dent alone. Based on the as­sess­ment re­port, the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee makes the fi­nal de­ci­sion.”

Sonam Jatso also agreed that a few more serv­ing MPs would be re­placed but re­fused to give their names. “Since more than two years ear­lier, the PM had in­formed the MPs who did not have pos­i­tive feed­backs to work harder and serve bet­ter.” he said.

Mean­while, two MPs con­firmed not to con­test the up­com­ing elec­tions be­cause of the age fac­tor el­i­gi­ble for pol­i­tics are Mingbo Dukpa from De­wathang – Gom­dar con­stituency in Sam­drup Jongkhar and Speaker Jigme Zangpo from Mong­gar con­stituency in Mong­gar.

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