Incumbent Tashi Dorji elected as NC Chairperson

Jigme Wangchuk from Samdrup Jongkhar will be the Deputy Chairperson

After having won the National Council (NC) elections in Wangduephodrang last month for a second term, Tashi Dorji, 36, has now been elected as the new Chairperson of the Upper House after securing 11 votes and beating five other contestants Thursday.

The NC representative from Samdrup Jongkhar, Jigme Wangchuk, 38, will take the position of the Deputy Chairperson of the house after securing 13 votes. He is the only council member who won the NC elections for the third time.

The contenders for the NC’s thrizin post, meanwhile, comprise Tashi Dorji from Wangduephodrang who secured 11 votes; Nima from Bumthang and Lhatu from Trashigang – both receiving four votes each; and Tshewang Rinzin from Thimphu, Pema Dakpa from Zhemgang and Sangay Dorji from Chukhha, who all secured two votes each.

And for the NC’s Deputy thrizin, the nominees were Jigme Wangchuk from Samdrup Jongkhar, who was declared as elected after securing 13 votes. He was followed by Ugyen Namgay from Haa with nine votes and Tashi Samdrup from Trongsa with three votes.

Talking to Business Bhutan, the new Deputy Chairperson, Jigme Wangchuk said he has no word to express his happiness.

“With 10 years of my past experience in the NC, I was eligible to contest for the NC chairperson’s seat but humbly due to my age factor I step down. The result was unpredictable but I did have hope,” he said, adding that it was because of his experience in the council that made him secure the maximum votes from his colleagues.

He said that he made history in his life by winning three elections, first the gewog selection where he defeated three candidates, then in the NC elections in Samdrup Jongkhar by defeating five other opponents, and then on Thursday after emerging as the winner to secure his position as the Deputy Chairperson after defeating two of his NC colleagues.

Meanwhile, Chairperson Tashi Dorji refused to comment stating that it is too early for him to comment now.

As prescribed in the National Council Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008 (Consolidated), the members of the 3rd National Council submitted their Certification of Election to the Secretary General.

The nominees for the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson addressed the forum outlining their goals and strategies for the house if elected. The house commenced its first sitting of the 3rd National Council during which the Chief Justice, Lyonpo Tshering Wangchuk, administered the Oath of Office, sign Pledge of Non- Affiliation of Political Parties by the members and the election of the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson’s basic salary starts at Nu 130,000 a month, while for the Deputy Chairperson the basic salary is Nu. 75,160.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu