Not a single woman MP for Home Minister’s post

While the six names came from the male MPs, none of the five female MPs nominated themselves for the post. Will the PM consider a woman MP for the Home Minister’s post?

The five female MPs (Member of Parliament) in the country are not after the vacant post of the Home Minister, about which there is an outcry on social media among the male candidates while the women are not making any noise. Of the six names submitted to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering for the vacant post of Home Minister, not a single woman MP has applied for the post.

Though it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to appoint the Home Minister, the MPs have been asked to nominate themselves for the vacant post.

The six nominees

The nominees for the Home Minister’s post are yet to be confirmed and announced officially. However, sources confirmed the names to Business Bhutan and the six MPs who have self -nominated for the vacant post of the Home Minister are Dawa from Chhoekhor-Tang constituency in Bumthang, Karma Dorji from Nganglam constituency in Pemagatshel, Kinga Penjor of Gangzur-Minjey constituency in Lhuentse, Kinley Wangchuk of Athang-Thedtsho constituency in Wangduephodrang, Ugen Tenzin of Bji-Kartshog-Uesu constituency in Haa and Gyem Dorji from Draagteng-Langthil constituency in Trongsa.

The female MPs:

Currently there are five female MPs in the parliament. The names are MP Tshewang Lhamo from Bongo-Chapchha constituency in Chhukha, MP Yeshey Dem from Khamaed -Lunana constituency in Gasa, MP Dorjee Wangmo from Sombaykha constituency in Haa, MP Karma Lhamo from Mongar constituency and MP Dil Maya Rai from Tashichhoeling constituency in Samtse.

Why didn’t the female MPs nominate themselves?
Business Bhutan contacted the five female MPs and asked them why they did not show interest or nominate themselves for the post. Almost all of them said they were happy being a MP and did not believe in self-nomination. But they said they would take up the post if given a chance.

MP Karma Lhamo, who is one of the seasoned politicians in the country with more than a decade experience in politics, said she had contested to serve the people and for her the position of a MP or Cabinet Minister makes no difference. “In fact, I feel that as an MP I can serve the people of my constituency more and better than as a minister. I can constantly keep in touch with them and listen to their concerns and personal grievances,” she said.

She added, “We are only about two years away from the end of the term and there has been a gap between the people and the MP, so now I have to concentrate on bridging that gap.”

She said that she did not nominate herself. “Because if they think we are the right person then the Prime Minister has the right to nominate us as it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister as enshrined in the constitution. But to me, nominating by myself does not sound good. It sends a wrong message to the public that the MPs have only come for the post of a minister,” she added. 

She further elaborated that she did not come forward or entered politics because of the desire for the post of a minister. “But for me the opportunity to serve the people is more than enough. But if an opportunity comes my way, I will not retire,” she added.

Meanwhile, MP Tshewang Lhamo, known for her bold statements and also with more than a decade of experience as a politician, said she would be more proud to be selected for the post than to nominate herself. 

“I believe in nomination but not self-nomination. I am happy as a MP and want to take it slow for now,” said MP Tshewang Lhamo, who is currently in Phuentsholing on duty as a DeSsup

Meanwhile, MP Dorjee Wangmo said that she respects the constitution and it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister alone.
“I don’t know who is on the list of nominees for the vacant post of the Home Minister. My aim is to serve my people in my constituency and as a MP I am good at that. However, if the Prime Minister appoints me as the Home Minister, I will not turn down the responsibility,” said MP Yeshey Dem. 

MP Dil Maya Rai said she doesn’t believe in self-nomination and the post of the Home Minister is not a cup of tea for her.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), Phurba said that the party was not involved in the nomination process, he was not aware of the names and there was also no official nomination made by the party.

“We have capable female MPs to become the Home Minister, but I don’t know why they did not nominate themselves and why they were not interested,” he added.  

Meanwhile, the former Home Minister, Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen, formally resigned in May this year after the larger bench of the High Court convicted him to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance amounting to Nu 226,546. 

Chencho Dema from Paro