MP Wangchuk Namgyel elected as Speaker, Tshencho Wangdi as Deputy Speaker
MP Wangchuk Namgyel has a Master of Arts in History from the University of Madras in India.
Similarly, the MP from the Kabisa-Talog constituency in Punakha, Tshencho Wangdi, was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly after he secured 31 votes, while his opponent MP Karma Wangchuk from ChhumigUra constituency in Bumthang bagged 16 votes out of the total 47 votes.
MP Tshencho Wangdi, 33, earlier worked as the General Manager of a tour company and as English and Dzongkha teacher at Ugyen Academy. He holds a masters’ degree in International Relations from Webster University in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the National Assembly is elected from among the members of the National Assembly through secret ballot.
The functions of the Speaker is to preside over the National Assembly and enforce its rules for the orderly conduct of the proceedings, preserve dignity and decorum in the hall and maintain discipline amongst the members, sign the Bills passed by the National Assembly, represent the National Assembly in its relation with the Druk Gyalpo, the Executive and the Judiciary; and establish interparliamentary relations.
The Speaker shall take Oath or Affirmation of Secrecy, as provided for in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution before assuming office.
Whenever the Speaker from illness or other cause finds it necessary to leave the chair during any part of the sitting of the National Assembly, the Deputy Speaker shall preside over such sittings, until the Speaker resumes the chair.
The Deputy Speaker presiding over the sitting during the period of the Speaker’s absence shall enjoy the same powers and privileges of the Speaker. He/She shall also perform the duties of the Speaker and every such act performed by him/her shall have the same effect and validity, as that of the Speaker.
Meanwhile, the first sitting of the National Assembly reportedly began with the ushering of Ku-Sung-Thugten into the Assembly Hall as a symbolic representation of His Majesty the King. After the reading out of the Kasho from His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo, the Members put on Patang/ Gyentag and changed their scarfs and then took the Oath or Affirmation of Office administered by the Chief Justice of Bhutan as per the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Speaker Wangchuk Namgyal (Left) and Deputy Speaker Tshencho Wangdi (Right).