DNT announces cabinet portfolios
The new government officially announced cabinet ministers portfolio of the third democratically elected government on 3 November in Thimphu.
The Member of Parliament from Mongar constituency, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, 63, is appointed as Minister for Home and Culture Affairs.
Before joining in politics, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen served as Secretary for Dzongkha Development Commission. He holds a bachelors' in Public Administration and Political Science from University of Punjab.
The Member of Parliament, Dorji Tshering, 39, from Radhi-Sagteng constituency in Trashigang was appointed as Minister for Works and Human Settlement.
Dorji Tshering worked as Executive Engineer for Department of Road (DoR) and he holds Masters in civil engineering from Australia.
Ugyen Dorji, 32, from Thrimshing-Kangpara constituency in Trashigang Dzongkhag was appointed as Minister for Labour and Human Resources.
He worked as desk officer, SAARC and other regional organizations corporation under Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had a Master in Public Policy from Singapore.
While, the Member of Parliament from NubiTangsibji constituency in Trongsa Dzongkhag, Yeshey Penjor, 54, is appointed as Minister for Agriculture and Forestry.
Before joining in politics, he worked as Project Director for EU GPPB project and he had a Master of Science from Thailand.
Fifty years old, Dr. Tandi Dorji representing from Lingmukha-Toedwang constituency in Punakha Dzongkhag was appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The founding member of the DNT, Dr Tandi Dorji worked as consultant, public health researcher and the Consultant Pediatrician and Technical Advisor. He had a MBBS and Masters in International Public Health from University of Sydney, Australia.
Fourty two years old, Dechen Wangmo from North Thimphu constituency was appointed as Minister for Health.
Before joining in politics, she worked as independent consultant in public health and social development. She had a Master in Public Health from Yale University, USA.
Member of Parliament from Dogar-Shapa constituency, Namgay Tshering, 39, was nominated as Minister for Finance.
He worked as project coordinator for World Bank and Global Fund Project and Planning Officer for Ministry of Health. He had a Masters in Public Health from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
Jai Bir Rai, 45, from Phuentsholing constituency was appointed as Minister for Education. He worked as Chief Executive Officer with AMJ Group of Business and Finance Officer with Royal University of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had a Masters of Business Administration from Netherlands.
Karma Donnen Wangdi, 47, from Gelegphu constituency was appointed as Minister for Information and Communications.
He was a National Council representative from Sarpang Dzongkhag and had a Postgraduate Diploma in Information and Technology (IT) from Netherlands.
While, Loknath Sharma, 47, from DophuchenTading constituency is appointed as Minister for Economic Affairs.
Before joining in politics, he worked as community service worker and regional head with Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA). He had an Advance Diploma in Community Services and Masters in Economics from Canberra Institute of Technology, Australia.
Meanwhile, the press release from the DNT states that, “In all our campaigns during the elections, DNT proposed for change. Change in governance, change in ideas, change in our professional conducts and change in approaches to tackling pertinent issues.”
“We talked about offering paradigm shifts in pursuing development works and in our pursuit of narrowing the gap. Today, as we assume the responsibility to govern and as we put together the team of Cabinet, we are mindful of the fact that we campaigned for change.”
The press release states that, the party is happy to inform that this group of committed individuals, their agents of change, is motivated to working selflessly as they serve the country and its people with all their heart.
“Thus, the Cabinet, in its composition presents itself as a unique set of team. For the first time, a medical professional is at the helm of governance. The Cabinet members are as young as 32 years and the senior of all being 63,” stated the press release.
Meanwhile, four of the members are in their forties, while three each are in the thirties and fifties.
In ensuring regional balance, besides the Prime Minister, the new government have three representatives each from West, South and East and one representative from the central.
“In what could be an unconventional approach, the portfolio has been assigned considering individual competencies and personal proficiencies, and not necessarily in tune with educational or professional background.”
For the Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering, who is constitutionally required to put together the team, one main criterion was to ensure a Cabinet that functioned beyond norm, and pursued and delivered change for better.
“A person with education background need not be the education minister, nor does a person with health background the health minister. Similarly, a person with finance background need not be the finance minister. Except unless unavoidable, we refrained placement of candidates in the same line of ministry.”
“We have talked enough on the need to change but let's change ourselves first,” Dr Lotay Tshering said. The idea was to pull someone out of the comfort zone, someone who injected fresh perspective, without preconceived notions. While fully focused on the overarching goals, that individual would be like a fresh page, with open mind, like sponge to compelling ideas, besides being as approachable.
Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering added, “We will have a team with new set of thinking, brimming with innovative solutions towards old problems.” “Or else, we would be arguing on the same old issues, like youth unemployment, water shortage, and increasing gap between rich and poor in 2023 as well.”
However, in putting together the team, Prime Minister said it was a painful process, having to choose members from a competent lot. “My heart still aches after having to leave out many, especially the senior candidates,” he said.
Meanwhile, in assuming the responsibilities, the team has drawn up a common understanding that it is not about power and privileges but about motivation, sacrifice and team work. The Prime Minister, on his part, has also made it clear that if the current Cabinet does not perform, the rest of the ruling representatives are as competent to step in at any point of time. “We will always be guided by His Majesty's vision,” Dr Lotay Tshering said. “We trust the wisdom and efficiency of our civil servants.
The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) announces the cabinet portfolio of the third democratically elected government at a press conference yesterday.