Current National Council (NC) members will no longer get the opportunity to sit in the August hall of the upper house, unless they recontest and win in the next NC election, which will be held earlier next year.
However, there may not be similar faces as there are incumbent NC members who have decided not to recontest. This includes, Chairperson of the NC, Tashi Dorji from Wangduephodrang. About seven incumbent members have decided not to recontest.
NC Chairperson, who has served for two consecutive terms as NC of Wangduephodrang said that there are several aspiring candidates showing interest to contest in the upcoming National Council election from the dzongkhag. “I am honored to handover to whoever gets elected. I have had the opportunity to serve for two terms,” he said.
Deputy Chairperson of the NC, MP from Samdrup Jongkhar, Jigme Wangchuk, who has been the district’s NC since the first elections said he wants to give opportunity to others.
Meanwhile, Haa NC member Ugyen Namgyal thanked the people of the dzongkhag. He said it was a great honor to represent the people. However, he wants “to take a break from politics to give some time for personal growth and family.”
The MP shared that he is deeply humbled by the trust and confidence bestowed by the people of Haa district. “I shall cherish this wonderful moment, serving Tsa-Wa-Sum and I plan to come back to politics more matured,” the MP said.
Tempa Dorji, the MP of Lhuentse who served for two terms will also not contest for the upcoming NC election. The MP also wants to provide opportunity for others.
Zhemgang dzongkhag’s MP, Pema Dakpa had said he would serve as NC member for two consecutive terms and he wants to be a man of his words.
“I sincerely thank the people of Khengrig Namsum for bestowing the opportunity to serve for two consecutive terms. I did the best within my capacity to uphold the golden mandate of NC as Legislature and Review House. I just hope that I have lived up to the expectation of my constituents.”
However, about eight serving MPs have decided to recontest while five are yet to decide.
From those who want to contest in 2023 is Chukha member Sangay Dorji. The MP said that the legislative responsibility is one of the most important responsibilities as people’s representative to enact and amend the laws that would benefit the Nation and her people for long term interest in fulfilling the vision of His Majesty the King.
The MP wants “to shoulder oversight responsibilities for strengthening transparency, efficiency and accountability of any plans and programs that are executed in constituencies for the benefit of people.” “If there is anything that we can support the program during our visits, we do recommend or discuss the issue with the Local Government officials at the gewog and the Dzongkhag level,” he said adding that he personally feels that he has not done enough to thank the people for giving him the opportunity.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the MP said that he did his best to serve the people to the best of his ability. “However, I could not serve the people of my constituency as planned and expected due to the numerous lockdowns that we had to undergo being one of the Southern dzongkhags,” the MP said.
“To thank the people of Chukha Dzongkhag through services for all their love, trust and support they have bestowed, I have decided to re-contest in upcoming NC election,” the MP added.
Sarpang MP Anand Rai will also recontest to contribute to the country in greater ways with five years’ experience. The incumbent MP of Pemagatshel, Choining Dorji would also be taking the opportunity.
Having served for the last four years and 8 months, the MP said that he gained experiences in legislative procedures, legislative drafting, legal translation and his qualification fits to be a Parliamentarian in the NC.
The MP said that during the second term, he would tremendously contribute to NC’s legislative functions.
To serve the public at the policy level, Ugyen Tshering, the MP of Paro said that he will recontest. Others who Business Bhutan learnt will recontest are the MPs of Trashiyangtse and Dagana.
Lhaki Dolma from Punakha and Sonam Pelzom, Mongar are the other two recontesting. There are other reasons, too. The MP of Tsirang, Dhan Kumar has to drop the plan as he disqualifies due to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB)’s new criteria.
Meanwhile, the MPs of Gasa, Samtse, Thimphu, Trashigang and Trongsa; Dorji Khandu, Tirtha Man Rai, Tshewang Rinzin, Lhatu and Tashi Samdrup have not decided yet. The MPs said they will decide by January or February next year.
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) notified the general public in September that the NC elections for the fourth Parliament will be conducted early next year. The term of current MPs of NC will end on 6 May next year.
While information on the total number of aspiring NC candidates could not be obtained, aspiring candidates have also begun their familiarization tours.
Sangay Rabten from Thimphu