Six candidates vie for vacant Home Minister’s post

Prime Minister speaks to the media at the virtual meet-the-press

Lhakpa Tshering

Following the resignation of the former home minister in May this year, the ruling party’s Members of Parliament (MP) and its candidates have submitted at least six nominations to the Prime Minister for the post of vacant home minister.

In all, nine nominations were received through individual members but later three MPs had voluntarily withdrawn after coming to know that their names are on the nomination list for the home minister’s post.

This was what Prime Minister Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering divulged at the meet-the-press session Friday when questioned why the reappointment of home minister takes so long.

“I think they (party candidates and serving members) could not discuss further on that matter since I did not nod them on the discussion of recommended nominations or if I would pick from the six nominated names,” Lyonchhen said.

Lyonchhen said he had asked for suggestions from all the members – both serving members and candidates outside the parliament – to suggest if they have any nomination.

Lyonchhen said that many members have expressed that they would go ahead with the decision of the Prime Minister. “Now, it’s my responsibility and I’m yet to decide,” he added.

Sources say that the Prime Minister had been aiming to include new members elected in the by-elections to be a minister but there is disagreement among the senior serving members.

Refuting the speculations that there were differences within the party on home minister candidature, Lyonchhen clarified the members could not meet to discuss the matter because of various reasons.

“We had planned to meet after the summer session but we could not find a time to meet since many of the MPs have been out on constituency visits after the session and some have been engaged in various committee meetings,” Lyonchhen said.

The Prime Minister says that the reappointment of the Home Minister is not late given that no major projects and activities are currently affected due to not having the Home Minister.

“Even without the minister, foreign minister Dr. Tandi Dorji, who is the home minister in charge, has been fairly taking his responsibility well,” Lyonchhen said.

The nomination, Lyonchhen said, would be announced soon after the government decides on the candidate.

According to the constitution, the Druk Gyalpo shall appoint Ministers from among the members of the National Assembly, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, or shall remove a Minister on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the former Home Minister Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, formally resigned after the larger bench of the High Court convicted the minister for claiming false vehicle insurance worth Nu 226,546.