Home Minister Dasho Sherab Gyeltshen Resigns

In a solemn ceremony, Lyonpo Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen made his final call on to the Prime Minister, as his resignation was accepted and formally departed from the responsibilities as the minister of Home and Cultural Affairs on 6 May.

Sonam Penjor

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Bhutan has accepted the resignation submitted by Dasho Sherab Gyeltshen, Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs and the Member of Parliament from Monggar Constituency on 6 May as per Section 18 of the National Assembly Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008.

The larger bench of the High Court had earlier convicted Dasho Sherab Gyeltshen to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance from the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan amounts to Nu 226,546.

Later, the larger bench had upheld the High Court’s verdict and Lyonpo Sherab had then sought to appeal to the Supreme Court prior to the filing of his resignation.

Section 18 of the National Assembly Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008 states: “A member may, by writing under his or her hand, addressed to the Speaker, if the House is in session, or the Secretary General if the House is not in session, resign his or her seat therein, and upon the acceptance of such resignation by the Speaker, the seat of that member shall become vacant.”

“Upon the acceptance of the resignation, the seat of Monggar Constituency and with the untimely demise of Member of Parliament Choida Jamtsho from Nanglam Constituency, the National Assembly of Bhutan announces these constituencies a seat vacant,” the Speaker wrote.

The seats were declared vacant as per section 20 of the Act and the Speaker has issued a writ to the Election Commission of Bhutan to fill both the vacant seats in keeping with the section 22 of the Act.

The section 20 of the Act states that the seat of a member shall become vacant upon resignation; death; disqualification or removal; or the expiration of the term of office.

The section 22 of the Act states that that when the office of a member of the National Assembly becomes vacant for any reason other than the expiration of term, a writ for an election to fill the vacancy shall be issued within one month after the vacancy occurs and an election of a member to fill the vacancy shall be held within ninety days as from the date of vacancy.

Speaking on the resignation, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said, “While the unfortunate development caused so much pain and remorse, never did I ever witness a man walk out with so much grace and dignity despite the strenuous circumstances.” 

Lyonchhen said his colleague, home minister Dasho Sherab Gyeltshen, resigned from the government, and as he did, he left behind an important lesson.

Further, Lyonchhen said that it is one thing to be endowed with spiritual values and modern education but quite another to be actually practicing those qualities. “And when you do that, the combination yields a power and strength that defy all worldly concepts.”

At the peak of the court procedure when the verdict was against Dasho for the third time, after a momentary jolt, he quickly fell back on his spiritual contemplation. And on that day, he decided to resign from the job, said the Lyonchhen. 

“I remain inspired because anyone in his place would have made desperate attempts to cling on to entitlements or justify his pride. It is rare for most of us to know our limitations or make profound move for bigger cause. How different the world would be if we have more of such people on planet?” Lyonchhen wrote.

Lyonchhen further said this resignation doesn’t mean Dasho will stop serving the nation or not be of assistance to people around him. In fact, his move to leave the system is a nation building in action. Dasho is enriching the democratic process by instilling trust in the people and reminding us that of our political process is dynamic and credible.