NC representatives quash tales of joining other political parties

Many, however, reasoned that they want to offer opportunity to other candidates

Rumors are rife that the six National Council representatives who did not recontest in the NC elections on April 20 would be roped in by other political parties or may join other political parties for the parliamentary elections later this year.

The six NC representatives who did not contest comprise Lyonpo Sonam Kinga of Trashigang, Sangay Khandu of Samtse, Jigme Rinzin of Pemagatshel, Sonam Dorji of Dagana, Kaka Tshering of Paro and Rinzin Dorji of Punakha constituency.

Talking to Business Bhutan, many of them have quashed rumors about being offered party tickets or joining other political parties.

NC representative from Punakha Rinzin Dorji said he had served his term and that it’s now time for the others.

“There were a maximum number of capable candidates and I want to offer opportunity to them. I want to serve the country turn wise; I served and now it is there turn,” he said, adding that though it’s the end of his career in the council, but not for politics.

“I will serve my country and people in a different way. I will venture into business,” he added.

Citing personal reasons for not re-contesting, the NC representative from Paro, Kaka Tshering said he wanted to offer opportunity to the other candidates to serve and contest. “I have not decided anything as of now and my next move could be revealed only after my term ends on May 9th,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NC representative from Dagana, Sonam Dorjisaid that he is happy that he served his term and the people also gave him the opportunity.

“I have no big reasons to not re-contest and I have not decided on any plan yet. But as of now I want to take a break and never know about me coming back in future,” he added.

After serving in the National Council for two terms and even if he has no problem working in the Upper House, the NC representative from Pemagatshel, Jigme Rinzin said he felt that change is necessary.

“But I must admit that deciding not to recontest was not easy especially when I used to get calls from people of different Gewogs literally pleading that I recontest. Equally, I felt there would be that many people who would have wished for a change. For me personally, I believe in putting a limit to anything and therefore setting a precedent of not overdoing anything. Further, an opportunity of serving Tsa-wa-Sum on behalf of Pemagatsel citizens should be made available to other qualified and capable aspirants from Pemagatshel,” he said.

Further Jigme Rinzin said future plans are aplenty, but the plans should be ultimately to serve the ‘King, Country and People’.

“Being a Chartered Accountant, I feel that I should go back to my profession and contribute through my financial expertise. I genuinely feel a need to work in the Bhutanese corporate world. But at the same time, I have a decade of legislative experience and policy making that encompasses not just the Bhutanese views but also international perspectives,” he added.

“50% in me suggests that I should come back and continue making laws for the country and the people. Not coming back to the parliament would even mean a loss to the state for I have been groomed for ten years in law making. But either way, I will start pondering on all available options only after I formally complete my second term and hand over the reign of Pemagatshel NC Thuemi to my successor, MP-elect Choining Dorji on 10 May 2018,” he added.

NC Jigme Rinzin said that he is a satisfied going out as an NC representative. “I have been to all 56 Chiwogs of my Dzongkhag for umpteenth time and have carried back people’s concerns to the august House of NC. I have actively participated in the in-house deliberations through committee meetings. I have chaired several committees. Therefore, I leave my office with pride but of course with heavy heart,” he added.

According to the NC representative from Samtse, Sangay Khandu, when he contested in the 2013 elections he was determined then that if he wins the election he would only serve for one term and he had also told his voters that he wouldn’t contest again.

He added that he has not thought of any other plans as of now, though he shared some of his back up plans – which were to go back home or go for further studies or join political parties.

“But I am yet to decide anything as of now. I had no plan to contest the NC elections,” he added.

Similarly, the chairperson of the NC, Lyonpo Sonam Kinga, said he does not have any other plan and that his only plan is to continue serving the country in whatever ways he can. “For some personal reasons, I decided not to recontest and I am definitely not joining any political party.”

Meanwhile, from the 20 NC representatives representing the 20 districts, 14 of them re-contested in the elections this year. Two were eliminated during the dhamngoi zomdu process and only five of the incumbent members were reelected. The term for the present council members will end on May 9.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu